Standard & Poor's not to lower Belgium's credit rating in the short term

It doesn't look as if the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's is about to lower Belgium's credit ratings in the short term. The agency is playing down earlier announcements that it would lower Belgium's ratings if our country would still be without a federal government by June.

On 14 December, the Belgian government was warned by Standard & Poor's, one of the world's three major credit rating agencies. The future prospect for Belgium was changed from "stable" to "negative". Moreover, Standard & Poor's would lower Belgium's credit rating if we would still be without a federal government in June.

For the moment, the ratings is set at A++, the second-best level. A lower rating would imply that financial experts have less confidence in Belgium's financial stability, and that they fear that Belgium will have more difficulty in paying its national debt. If the rating is lowered, it would make it more expensive for the Belgian state to borrow money on the financial markets. This would have serious consequences for both the companies and the people.

Standard & Poor's will not lower Belgium's credit rating in the short term though. This is probably thanks to Belgium's good economic performance. However, it remains to be seen what happens if the political talks on a state reform and a new coalition government continue to be fruitless, almost one year after the federal elections.

Yves Leterme, the PM of the federal caretaker government, sent a message on Twitter today: Standard & Poor's less threatening. As we've been saying for some time, hard work in the goverment pays off.