Credit rating agency Moody’s has put Germany on the so-called ‘watch list’, lowering its outlook for Europe’s economic power engine to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.
The Netherlands and Luxembourg were likewise given a downbeat prospect.
Berlin has reacted angrily to Moody’s assessment.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said the agency was only looking in the short term. Germany would continue to be a stable anchor for the eurozone and there was no new data to justify the announcement.
But Moody’s said that all three countries which have triple-A ratings face risks from the increased prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone and from the possible need to bail out Spain and Italy.