Politicians turn fire on agencies following Portugal downgrade

The leading rating agencies have been threatened with tighter regulation by European politicians.

The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, lambasted Moody’s recent downgrade of Portugal’s debt, according to a report in the Independent on Sunday.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, claimed Moody’s downgrade of Portugal added to speculation in the markets and suggested an anti-Europe bias. The European Union, he said, planned to strengthen regulations overseeing the three major rating agencies.

“It seems strange that there is not a single rating agency coming from Europe. It shows there may be some bias in the markets when it comes to the evaluation of specific issues of Europe,” he said.

The Greek foreign minister, Stavros Lambridinis, said the agencies’ actions in the debt crisis had been “madness”.