Politicians in Europe have criticised ratings agencies for their verdicts on the debt problems facing Ireland, Greece and Italy.
They say the agencies have been too hasty in warning that countries may be unable to repay their debts, adding to a mounting sense of crisis.
The agencies are Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, who say their ratings are based on economic data rather than political rhetoric.
The BBC reports it's not the first time such criticism has been expressed. Similar views were heard in the United States last year.