Fitch Ratings on Friday warned it may downgrade France and six other euro zone countries as it believes that a comprehensive solution to the region's debt crisis is technically and politically beyond reach.
France's possible downgrade is not imminent but could come in two years, Fitch said, as it revised the outlook to the country's AAA rating to negative.
For the other countries - Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia and Spain - a downgrade could come much faster. Those nations, which already had a negative rating outlook, were placed on credit watch negative, which traditionally signals the possibility of a downgrade within three months.
The systemic nature of the euro zone crisis is having a profoundly adverse effect on economic and financial stability across the region, Fitch said in a statement.
(Reporting By Walter Brandimarte and Daniel Bases; Editing by James Dalgleish)