Germany says downgrade a "small warning" to France

BERLIN Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:54am GMT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday that France had received a "small warning" when Moody's stripped it of its triple-A rating, but cautioned against over-dramatising the cut.

"We got the news last night that our most important partner had received a small warning from a ratings agency," Schaeuble said in a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

"France's rating is still stable, one shouldn't over-dramatise this. We all have an interest in everyone in Europe living up to their responsibilities."

The ratings agency cut France's sovereign credit rating by one notch to Aa1 from Aaa, citing an uncertain fiscal outlook and deteriorating economy.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Stephen Brown)