Fitch downgrades Portugal less than 24 hours of resignation of Premier Socrates

Fitch downgrades Portugal to A- from A+ and placed them on Rating Watch Negative.
It took less than 24 hours of Jose Socrates quitting for Fitch to catch a wiff of what will be happening there.  A Brussels bailout is all but guaranteed.  Jose Socrates would have preferred austerity, but even that was too little too late. 

The reasons where given below.  Via Fitch
"The downgrade reflects increased risks to policy implementation and fiscal financing in light of the Portuguese parliament's failure to pass fiscal consolidation measures and the resignation of the Prime Minister on 23 March," says Douglas Renwick, Director in Fitch's Sovereign group.

Fitch previously stated on 23 December 2010, when it downgraded Portugal to 'A+' with Negative Outlook, that additional fiscal measures may be necessary to secure this year's ambitious deficit target (4.6% of GDP). The failure to pass such measures yesterday and the ensuing policy uncertainty has weakened the credibility of Portugal's fiscal and structural reform programme. It has therefore significantly increased the chances of Portugal requiring multilateral support in the near term, given its impaired ability to retain affordable market access.
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