But what catches our eye, is France's position.
Ratings agencies have been warning the markets and governments for months over a possible French credit-rating downgrade . Moody's warned France in October of an official negative outlook, which could lead to a status downgrade, while S&P said in December that Germany, France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were the AAA rated countries under review.
The latest ratings action from S&P also reveals that:
During the last year, many market participants have exclaimed how France was unlikely to be downgraded not because it doesn't deserve to be, but mainly because of the political implications behind this.
Furthermore, a conflict of interest has been called into question, which led many to say that having a country like France being downgraded would be very slim.
Dismissing this idea was not helped by the fact that S&P fell into hot water with French politicians when it "accidently" placed France on the downgrade watch list:
The reaction by French politicians at that time will be a good indicator for the type of rebuttal France will unleash during the next month or so:
Of course, the French government hit back at such a notion that they should lose their AAA status - and politicians fought tirelessly to try to prevent rating agencies becoming involved with rating sovereigns. This idea collapsed shortly afterwards.
In November, the European Securities and Markets Authority approved the four largest ratings agencies to continue to issue ratings on countries within the European Union, having initially proposed to prohibit them from rating sovereign countries if they were in the middle of negotiating a bailout.
However, as previously reported by Euromoney and Euromoney Country Risk, comparisons have been drawn over whether the UK should also retain its AAA status, in comparison to France.
At the beginning of January, Panicos Demetriades, professor of financial economics at the University of Leicester, said:
Meanwhile, Nicholas Spiro, managing director, Spiro Sovereign Strategy, said:
S&P said the reason for France's downgrade, as well as others, is "primarily driven by our our assessment that the policy
initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the eurozone", and continued: