15 Jan '12, 12am

Vatican raises 'suspicious timing' of S&P downgrade

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican raised doubts on Saturday about the timing chosen by ratings agency Standard and Poor's to downgrade nine EU countries' credit-worthiness. In a front-page article headlined 'Suspicious Timing,' the Holy See's official newspaper Osservatore Romano deplored that the rating agency's decision came 'just when the markets were showing signs of slight improvement, thanks to reduced tensions over government bonds.' But 'the attack arrived with perfect and suspicious timing,' said the Vatican daily, referring to Friday's decision to downgrade several EU countries including France and Italy. It was 'a partly expected decision but one that could strike a severe blow for Europe as it battles the crisis,' said the paper, noting that 'even Beijing has raised doubts about the credibility of these rating agencies.'

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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