France under the threat of a further downgrading of its rating

By Anne de Guigne



Standard & Poor’s, one of the three most influential American rating agencies, will give its opinion on France’s economic policy on Friday evening. Brendan McDermid/REUTERS

DECRYPTION – On Friday, the main rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, must deliver its verdict on the solvency of French sovereign debt.

Like an unpleasant reminiscence. Bercy may well have been preparing for the deadline for several days, the pressure will gain ground on Friday as the hours go by. Like a Matignon and the Elysée, the teams in charge of public finances will nervously await the verdict of Standard & Poor’s (S & P). The publications of the rating agency had not given rise to such tension since the time when they punctuated the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, ten years ago.

Around 11 p.m., the press release will come out and the government will know if it was right to fear a further downgrading of France’s rating. Last December, S&P had already sounded the alarm by revising downwards the outlook for the hexagonal rating. Several reasons were mentioned: the importance of the public debt, the fear that the executive will not be able to implement its program of structural reforms, the global economic slowdown but also the tightening of policy…

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