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Der Standard - Austria | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Austria's credit rating still on shaky ground

Moody's rating agency downgraded the credit standing of six countries on Monday night and placed Austria on "negative outlook". The austerity package only just presented by the Austrian government can't stop this trend because it doesn't include genuine structural reforms, writes the left-liberal daily Der Standard: "Costs have indeed exploded, and without real cutbacks this won't change. Just as bank taxes and higher taxes on oil and energy only served to plug up new holes in the budget, the solidarity contribution, the real estate tax and higher social contributions will simply seep away. Without a reform of the federal state and far higher cuts for those who retire early there will be no real change of direction, and meanwhile the country's credit rating will be brought lower and lower. While the government boasts of its achievements, real change is being delayed indefinitely."

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