Rome

Officials irked by Moody's downgrade

Some call for commission of inquiry against 'campaign'

Officials irked by Moody's downgrade

(ANSA) - Rome, July 13 - Italian officials were irked by Moody's double downgrade of Italian debt Friday. "I think our manufacturing country is much stronger than what appears in Moody's assessments,", said Giorgio Squinzi, head of the industrial employers' association Confindustria. Fabrizio Cicchitto, Senate whip for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, said, "the problem lies in Europe rather than Italy". PdL colleague Rocco Girlanda called Moody's "latest attack on Italy the umpteenth interference of a political nature by a private agency against a sovereign state which is making major efforts to raise the euro and tackle its huge public debt". Girlanda called for a commission of inquiry into what he termed a campaign by Moody's. Francesco Boccia of the centre-left Democratic Party called on Italian regulators to intervene against what he called an unfair downgrade, just after Italy's debt-cutting moves had been given pass marks by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Italian politicians have reacted similarly to past downgrades by Moody's and Italian prosecutors are investigating the ratings agency.

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