S&P downgrades outlook on Greece

Axel Schmidt/dapd

(AP) NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its outlook on Greece's long-term credit rating, saying it is likely that the financially troubled nation will experience a shortfall in its 2012 budget amid a worsening economy and delays that have kept the government from implementing cuts.

The ratings firm downgraded Greece's long-term sovereign credit rating to "negative" from "stable."

The move reflects the possibility that S&P will downgrade Greece's rating if the nation fails to get additional funding from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece has been relying on such loans since high interest rates pushed it out of bond markets in 2010.

In return, it has imposed harsh austerity, slashing pensions and salaries, repeatedly hiking taxes and increasing the retirement age.

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