Euro zone could emerge from crisis in 2013: S&P

PARIS (AFP) - The euro zone could emerge from its debt crisis this year, Standard & Poor's said in a report on Wednesday.

"This could be a decisive year in determining whether the euro zone... can emerge from its sovereign debt troubles," the rating firm said in a statement on the report, titled "The Eurozone Debt Crisis: 2013 Could Be A Watershed Year".

"Nevertheless, we believe that investor confidence will only return if member states continue to make progress in rebalancing their economies, both through structurally stabilising public debt and by further reducing external deficits," S&P credit analyst Moritz Kraemer said in the statement. The agency said that agenda was "challenging but achievable", but also warned that implementation risks remained.

"These risks are the main reason that the majority of our outlooks on our euro zone sovereign ratings are still negative." S&P was the first firm to downgrade France by one notch to AA+ last year and the only ratings agency to strip the US of its top-flight AAA rating in 2011.

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