S&P Defends Mass European Downgrade

By: AP
By: AP

PARIS (AP) -- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's is defending its
decision to downgrade nine European countries, reiterating that
Europe's leaders aren't doing enough to solve their debt crisis.

Several European officials assailed the agency Saturday for its
announcement of the downgrades the night before, both in countries
that were targeted and in Germany, which was not.

S&P analyst Moritz Kraemer said in a conference call Saturday
that government measures aren't sufficient to restore confidence
and that austerity packages may prompt a backlash.

Agency spokesman Martin Winn dismissed suggestions that the
agency's decisions were political and could further hurt indebted
countries. He says "the track record of our sovereign ratings as
indicators of default risk worldwide is very strong."

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