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Eurozone crisis live: Greece battles default as markets digest S&P downgrades

Europe’s debt crisis takes centre-stage again following Friday night’s blitz of credit rating downgrades, and the deadlock in the Greek debt reduction talks

7.54am: What do you think about Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade nine eurozone countries?

Economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn was quick to criticise, calling the move “inconsistent” at a time when the eurozone was taking “decisive action” to tackle the debt crisis.

Portugal also took badly to being relegated to Junk status, saying it “disagrees with S&P’s assessment”.

So is it simply a case of shooting the messenger? Or are ratings agencies simply taking on too much power? Should we even be worried about S&P’s views?

7.45am: Good morning, and welcome to another day of rolling coverage of the eurozone financial crisis.

Two issues dominate the agenda today – Greece, following the breakdown in debt reduction negotations, and the aftermath of last Friday’s mass downgrades by Standard & Poor’s.

The situation in Greece worsens by the day. Talks between the Greek government and private lenders over a plan to reduce Greece’s debt by 0bn are now frozen until Wednesday. But the political pressure will continue to build on Lucas Papademos’s government, with speculation over a disorderly default growing.

Traders and analysts will also be reacting to the loss of France and Austria’s triple-A ratings, and the seven other downgrades announced by S&P after the markets closed last week. We don’t expect a major panic – the French downgrade was a real non-surprise – but will be tracking all the reaction.

There’s also a few debt auctions to look forward too. And, in the UK, warnings that the British economy is falling back into recession.

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