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Italians' mixed feelings towards downgrade

09-21-2011 08:23 BJT

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The ratings agencies are at it again. Standard & Poor's has downgraded Italy's sovereign debt rating, in another blow to Europe's debt woes. The Italian government has hit back, but the nation's citizens have mixed feelings.

Italy's leading bankers and employers met with the nation's Finance Minister on Tuesday to try to come up with ways to stimulate growth following Standard & Poor's downgrade.

The rating agency cut Italy's rating by one notch, warning of a deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty. It said there was little sign Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fractious center-right government could respond effectively.

Berlusconi's weak political leadership is part of the problem, S&P says - AFP/Getty Images

The Prime Minister emailed a statement to media offices after the move, saying that the downgrade did not reflect reality and his government was already preparing measures to spur growth.

However, many Italians seemed to agree with the agency's view of their government.

Romana Tinto, a Rome resident said, "These politicians, this joke of Berlusconi, we have had enough. All the Italian politicians need to go home. I am a grandmother and we should be helping the youngsters because if we don't Italy will be finished."

Danilo Fazi, a Rome resident said, "In this period Italy has shown itself to be politically fragile and uncertain, with this austerity package, in Europe's eyes, it has been seen not to be decisive, there were so many changes to it."

Under mounting pressure to cut its 1.9 trillion euro debt pile, the government pushed a nearly 60 billion euro austerity plan through parliament last week, pledging a balanced budget by 2013.

But there has been little confidence that the much-revised package of tax hikes and spending cuts will do anything to address Italy's underlying problem of persistent stagnant growth.

Ratings agency, Standard & Poor's has downgraded Italy's sovereign debt rating, by one
notch to A/A-1.

Editor:Li Wanran |Source: CNTV.CN

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