EU executive disagrees with S&P's Greece downgrade

BRUSSELS, March 30, 2011 (AFP) - The European Commission criticised on Wednesday a decision by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's to downgrade Greece's sovereign debt rating.

"We don't share that assessment," said Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, spokesman for EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, when asked to comment on the downgrade.

"We have our own assessment, and it's not the one of the agency you mentioned," Altafaj told a news briefing.

S&P downgraded its credit rating on Greece by two notches to BB- on Tuesday, saying that investors in their bonds could lose out under the terms of a new eurozone bailout system.

The Greek finance ministry called the agency's assessment "unbalanced and unjust."

"It reflects neither the effort made to date and the achievements nor Greece's economic prospects," the ministry said.

The agency downgraded Portugal's debt rating by one notch to BBB- on the same day amid fears Lisbon may have to seek a bailout, following the foosteps of Greece, which was rescued last year to avoid bankruptcy.

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