The United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today that he sees reasonable optimism in Europe and added that 2012 is a challenging year for the region.

Obviously people are anxious about the year ahead, and I understand that, but I would say there are some grounds for optimism, Osborne said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Adding I think the action the European Central Banktook before Christmas to increase liquidity was very welcome.

The comments from Osborne came after the rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded nine European nations as the procedures taken by policy makers to tackle the debt crisis may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the euro zone.