A senior German lawmaker Friday accused ratings agency Standard and Poor's of playing politics, saying the U.S. agency should also downgrade Britain if it downgrades France as expected.
Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the parliamentary group for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, said S&P had a distorted view of the euro zone and that downgrades of its member states were politically motivated.
This step is out of order, he told Reuters on the sidelines of a party meeting, in reference to reports S&P would cut the ratings of several euro zone states later in the day.
Standard and Poor's must stop playing politics... why doesn't it act on the highly indebted United States or highly indebted Britain? he said, pointing out that Britain has higher public debt and deficits than France.
If the agency downgrades France, it should also downgrade Britain in order to be consistent, he said, adding that this was unlikely.
The situation was another reminder for Europe that it needs its own independent ratings agency, he added.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Brian Rohan; editing by Ron Askew)