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Italy and Spain downgraded by Fitch

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Italy and Spain downgraded by Fitch

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The European debt crisis continues to bite — late on Friday the Fitch agency downgraded Italy’s sovereign credit rating to A+, it was the first such cut for Italy in nearly 20 years. It also said the outlook on Rome’s long-term rating is negative.

Saying the intensification of the euro zone debt crisis has had a negative impact in the entire region, Fitch also reduced Spain’s sovereign credit rating, to AA- because of the risk from the country’s slow economic growth and high regional debt.

It kept a negative outlook on the new rating for Madrid, in a sign more downgrades are possible in the next couple of years. Spain’s rating, was AAA until 2010.

Fitch said it is keeping Portugal at BBB- for now but will complete a review of that ranking by the end of the year.