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You're reading: S&P downgrades France, eight other euro zone nations
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Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, was spared.

Nine of the 17 members of the euro area had their credit ratings cut, with Austria joining France in losing its AAA status. Those two, along with Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia had their ratings cut by one notch, while Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus suffered two-notch downgrades.

S&P said it feared that initiatives European policymakers have taken to tackle the debt crisis "may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the euro zone."

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