Rome, February 27 - Moody's has said Italy's credit rating is under threat as the nation faces the risk of political gridlock after its general election failed to produce a clear winner. Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left alliance came first but it failed to win a working majority in the Senate. "We would consider downgrading Italy's government debt rating in the event of additional material deterioration in the country's economic prospects or difficulties in implementing reform," Moody's said. "A deterioration in funding conditions as a result of new, substantial domestic economic and financial shocks from the euro area debt crisis would also place downward pressure on Italy's rating." Moody's gave Italy's long-term debt a rating of Baa2, two notches above junk status, in July 2012, when it said there were risks that the structural economic reforms and fiscal policies adopted by outgoing Premier Mario Monti's emergency government may not continue. Another rating agency, Standard & Poor's, said the election outcome would not immediately affect Italy's sovereign rating, while stressing that it could in the future.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello