ECONOMY

Moody’s issues new warning

Greece’s debt rating downgrade by Moody’s by just one notch last week, from A1 to A2, and the assurance that there is no imminent risk of collapse for the country’s economy produced a sense of relief that the worst has been averted. Yet the international rating agency’s lead sovereign analyst for Greece, Sarah Carlson, tells Kathimerini in an interview that the worst is yet to come. «The long-term credit capacity of Greece will depend on the acceptance of the government’s measures by the Greek people and their dynamic application by the government,» she argues. Her estimate is based on the assumption that the European Central Bank will continue to accept Greek bonds. Otherwise there would be a «crisis of credit and possibly of liquidity,» generating a downgrade «by many notches.» Carlson suggests that the government’s announcements have clearly identified the weak points of the country’s economy and are paving the way for a permanent solution. «We are looking forward to seeing its more specific proposals in the new year,» she said, before adding that neither the dynamic application of the measures nor their public acceptance are assured. «Since those measures will take time before they bear fruit, Moody’s has set a negative outlook to the new credit rating of Greece,» explains Carlson. «A negative outlook means that the possibility of a further downgrade in the next 12 to 18 months is over 50 percent,» she added.