Standard & Poors officially cut the long-term credit ratings of Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, and Spain by two notches and cut the credit ratings of France, Austria, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia by a single notch. France, for example, lost its AAA rating and now stands at a AA+ long-term credit rating.
They announced that they are standing with the current credit ratings of Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Ireland.
All 16 of the these nations have been removed from the S&P CreditWatch which indicates that they safe from any additional near term downgrades. Italy and France remained on the list for a negative outlook.
The downgrades of Portugal and Cyprus to BB and BB+, respectively, pushes their bonds to 'junk bond' status.
Austria and France lost the top AAA ratings. Italy was reduced from a A rating to a BBB+. Spain was dropped from a AA- rating to a A rating.