S&P decision on Greece 'unjustified', Commission says

A decision by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to downgrade Greece’s credit rating by two notches was “one-sided and unjustified”, Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for EU Commissioner Olli Rehn said here on Wednesday, while he reiterated the Commission’s confidence on the course of the Greek economy.

Commenting on S&P’s decision to downgrade Greece’s credit rating to BB- from BB+, Altafaj reminded that the Commission and the International Monetary Fund, in cooperation with the European Central Bank, were assessing progress made by the Greek economy on a quarterly basis, “with objectivity and transparency” and noted that Greece was implementing an economic restructuring programme.

Based on this, the Commission has no reason to believe that the Greek economy was sliding.

“We do not share S&P’s assessment,” the EU spokesman stated, adding that Greek data was fully credible after Eurostat withdrew all reservations over the quality of the supplied figures and statistics. He also underlined the impeccable cooperation of the semi-autonomous Hellenic Statistical Authority with the Commission's services.

Altafaj also expressed the Commission’s satisfaction for the Greek government’s “ambitious efforts” towards promoting privatisations to ensuring the viability of state budgets in the future. He reiterated that Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for internal market affairs, will present - before the end of summer - the EU executive’s final proposals to regulate credit rating agencies.

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