S&P Lowers Belgium's Credit Rating

Cites 'protracted political uncertainty'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 25, 2011 1:11 PM CST
The 'Europe' sculpture showing a woman holding up the symbol of the Euro stands outside the European Parliament building on November 17, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Standard & Poor's is lowering its long-term sovereign credit rating for Belgium, citing a threat to exports and the country's lack of a permanent government. In a sign that financial contagion is spreading across Europe, the agency cut Belgium's credit rating from AA+ to AA. Belgium has been without a permanent government for 530 days.

A series of negotiators has struggled without success to bridge the country's divide between its French-speakers and its Dutch-speakers. The ratings agency said today that "in our opinion, protracted political uncertainty remains a risk to its creditworthiness." Late today, Belgian negotiators hurriedly resumed their stalled efforts to form a government.

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