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S&P's lowers sovereign credit rating on Belgium
Standard & Poor's lowers sovereign credit rating on Belgium, cites lack of permanent govt
By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) ' Standard & Poor's is lowering its long-term sovereign credit rating for Belgium, citing a threat to exports and the country's lack of a permanent government.

In a sign that financial contagion is spreading across Europe, the agency cut Belgium's credit rating from AA+ to AA.

Belgium has been without a permanent government for 530 days, as a series of negotiators has struggled without success to bridge the country's divide between its French-speakers and its Dutch-speakers.

The ratings agency said Friday that "in our opinion, protracted political uncertainty remains a risk to its creditworthiness."

Late Friday, Belgian negotiators hurriedly resumed their stalled efforts to form a government.

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