Fri,Mar25, 2011 11:24:53 English.news.cn
LISBON, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Fitch credit rating agency Thursday downgraded Portuguese debt to A- from A+, saying risks to the country's economy rose after the parliament failed to pass an austerity measure and the prime minister stepped down.
According to the rating agency, Portugal can no longer afford to maintain market access to refinance its sovereign debt this year. The Portuguese banks will face a peak in their refinancing needs of about 45 billion U.S. dollars in April.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned Wednesday night after the country's parliament voted against his new round of austerity measures aimed at reducing a high budget deficit to avoid a bailout.
The Portuguese government announced a series of adjustment measures during the past year to underline its commitment to reducing its budget deficit from 7.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2011.