BRUSSELS Dec 8 Standard & Poor's decision
to place the European Union's credit rating on watch for
possible downgrade does not take into account that the EU budget
has a special status, with no deficit or debt, the European
Commission said on Thursday.
Standard & Poor's said on Wednesday it had placed the
European Union's financial operations -- not all the 27
countries in the EU -- on watch for a possible credit downgrade.
The agency said it may cut the EU's AAA long-term issuer
credit rating if it lowers the current AAA ratings of one or
more member states. S&P this week placed 15 euro zone nations on
watch for possible downgrade.
"The Commission takes note that Standard & Poor's has placed
the EU "AAA" long-term rating on CreditWatch negative,"
Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said in a statement.
"S&P has motivated its decision as a follow up to its
decision to place on credit watch negative 15 out of the 17 euro
area Member States. This means that it could lower the EU's long
term rating by one notch if the AAA rating of Member States were
reduced as a consequence of the agency's concerns about the
deepening financial and sovereign debt crisis," Altafaj said.
"The Commission's view is that S&P's rationale for placing
several euro area member states under credit watch with negative
implications cannot be extended to the EU itself," he said.
"Indeed, the EU credit rating should be assessed on its own
merits, due to the special status of the EU budget (without
deficit or debt) and the EU own resources."