Germany joins attack on ratings agencies
Let's set up rivals, urges German foreign minister as he offers an olive branch to London
The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, launched a renewed drive yesterday to break the stranglehold of the US credit rating agencies on the global finance system.
"It's high time we found an independent European rating agency," he told journalists in a meeting in London, indicating he was strongly dissatisfied with the recent performance of US firms Standard & Poor's and Moody's.
On 5 December, Standard & Poor's said it was putting almost all the eurozone countries on "credit watch".
The six eurozone countries with an AAA rating – Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg – now face a 50 per cent chance of losing that coveted status within the next two months.
France is expected to be stripped of its AAA rating by S&P within days. Last week, Moody's also said it intends to review all EU states in the first three months of 2012 and criticised the "continued absence of decisive policy measures" to solve the eurozone crisis.
Mr Westerwelle, who was in London to offer the UK an olive branch after the 9 December summit left Britain isolated in the EU, also stressed European governments have no plans to undermine the UK's financial services industry.
"We have no intention to weaken the City," he said when asked about David Cameron's failed attempt in Brussels to secure special protection for the Square Mile from EU regulation.
He said he hoped to bring Britain back into the EU fold and the UK's "observer status", while the rest of Europe pushes ahead with a new "fiscal compact", could be the prelude to closer alignment.
Mr Westerwelle also suggested the British and German governments agree on the broad solution to the debt crisis.
"We can't solve a debt crisis by making it easier to take on new debts," he said.
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Scientist create 'robotic sperm' to help with fertilisation and drug delivery
Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Pre-Sales / Cl...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...
£40000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer (CCNP, CCIE, Netwo...