Credit Rating Agencies - Commissioner Barnier must cease unacceptable deference to "mafia of speculators"
PRESS RELEASE GUE/NGL
Denouncing the Commission's refusal to confront the problems created by the credit rating agencies (CRAs) that have fuelled a "mafia of speculators" during this crisis, Greek GUE/NGL MEP Nikos Chountis today called for the work of the agencies to be undertaken by a public and democratically controlled institution.
Speaking to Commissioner Barnier during the debate on CRAs in the European Parliament, Chountis said that "with the outbreak of the crisis the EU recognized the negative role played by rating agencies so one would expect the Commission to restrict the role of CRAs in some way. Instead we see continued deference to those who have destroyed economies and jobs at the expense of workers and citizens of EU countries. This is economically and politically outrageous".
"Yesterday, Moody's, one of the Holy Trinity of speculators together with S & Ps and Fitch, once again re-created a negative outlook for the Greek economy, and the Euro itself, with an unjustified four-point downgrading of the Greek economy" he said, adding that it was not acceptable for private and self-interested companies to have such a role in evaluating European economies and calling for the Commission to legislate immediately to put an end to this situation.
Also speaking during the debate, German MEP Jürgen Klute criticised CRAs for their total failure to forecast difficulties, as evidenced by their positive rating of Lehman's just days before the collapse of the financial services firm.
"States can not be compared to private profit-oriented companies. Window-dressing is not enough, a root and branch reform of the sector is required" he said.