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Irish authorities furious with S&P

The Irish authorities have today reacted with fury in relation to the downgrading of Irish sovereign debt to an AA- credit rating by S&P. The authorities believe that the approach taken by S&P is fatally flawed and does not correspond with that taken by the IMF, Eurostat or the European Commission. This public criticism of S&P goes very much against the grain of the previous policy of the Irish authorities but does highlight their disdain at the credit rating downgrade.

It is also worth noting that S&P would appear to have put the sovereign debt credit rating of Ireland on negative watch with the potential for further downgrades in due course. Not only does this focus investor's eyes and ears on the Irish economy but it also increases the cost of servicing existing debt and raising debt in the future. This comes at a time when the Irish authorities need all the help they can get to try and refloat the Irish financial sector and eventually refloat the Irish economy.

The problem for the Irish government is the fact that it cannot force S&P to change its mind or opinion of the Irish debt situation. While we are unlikely to see a public "slanging match" there may be talks behind the scenes to try and avoid a similar situation in the future.

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