S&P Warns Euroscepticists Could Hurt European Ratings



Standard & Poor's downgrades nine European countries

A warning that might lead some Greek voters to reconsider their options, just 48 hours ahead of the Greek general elections, was issued earlier today by New York-based ratings house Standard and Poor’s (S&P). As it announced, European countries could face downgrades if their various eurosceptic parties – that are currently on the rise in numerous European Union countries and especially in the troubled South – eventually come to power.

Two days before the Greek elections, which have been characterized as the most significant ones for the country’s course since 1974, the S&P warning comes as a direct message to the Greek electoral body. Unpopular Eurozone austerity demands have almost monopolized the interest of the electoral campaign, with opinion polls showing anti-austerity leftist SYRIZA as a clear favorite against ruling New Democracy. According to the ratings agency, Greece’s SYRIZA, along with Spain’s Podemos, which also advocates public spending and restricting debt, are considered the most “credit negative” parties in Europe. Spain will also hold general elections within the coming spring.

At the same time, in the United Kingdom, MEP Nigel Farage’s Eurosceptic party, UKIP, emerged as the 2014 European Elections winner and London is considering holding a referendum on leaving the European Union. “Eurosceptics are advocating a major macroeconomic policy shift,” S&P said, adding that “a decision by any government to default on debts or devalue the currency would, without question, represent a new policy direction.”