9 Dec 2009

Greek stock market falls over national debt concerns

11:37 am on 9 December 2009

The stockmarket in Greece has fallen 6% on mounting concern the nation may struggle to repay its debt commitments as the economy languishes.

The Fitch credit ratings agency cut Greece one step to Triple B Plus, the first time its been below A grade in a decade and warned there may be more to come.

Standard & Poor's also warned it may lower the country's credit rating because of ballooning government debt.

Greece is struggling to shore up its finances amid a year-long recession. The economy shrank 1.7% in the September quarter compared with a year earlier.

The new socialist government aims to cut the budge deficit from 13% to 9%, including a pay freeze for public servants.

Finance minister George Papaconstantinou admits the country is in a difficult position, but says it won't default on its debt obligations.