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Moody’s cuts debt ratings of six European countries

London – Moody’s Investors Service Monday cut the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal and changed its outlook on Britain and France’s top AAA ratings to ‘negative.’

Citing Europe’s debt crisis, Moody’s also downgraded the ratings of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.

‘The uncertainty over the euro area’s prospects for institutional reform of its fiscal and economic framework’ was one of the factors in the decision, Moody’s said.

The rating agency also cited concern about the resources being made available to deal with the crisis and said ‘Europe’s increasingly weak macroeconomic prospects’ threaten structural reforms.

Spain was downgraded to A3 from A1 with a negative outlook, Italy was downgraded to A3 from A2 with a negative outlook and Portugal was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 with a negative outlook, Moody’s said.

Earlier Monday, Standard and Poor’s downgraded 15 Spanish banks by one or two notches and the ratings agency Fitch also lowered the ratings of four Spanish banks.

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