Standard & Poor's Downgrades Italy's Debt

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S&P dropped Italy's government debt a notch, pointing to weak economic growth and political divisions that could make it harder to resolve its debt problems. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shot back with a statement saying the move was "dictated more by newspaper articles than by reality."

DAVID GREENE, Host:

NPR's business news starts with Italy's finances in the spotlight.

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GREENE: Standard & Poor's has downgraded the rating on Italy's government debt. S&P dropped the country a notch, pointing to weak economic growth and political divisions that could make it harder to resolve its debt problems. Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, shot back with a statement today, saying the move was dictated more by newspaper articles than by reality. Still, the downgrade could put more pressure on Italy and add to fears that the eurozone's third largest economy will be drawn further into the EU debt crisis.

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