UPDATE 1-EU executive questions Greek S&P rating downgrade

* European Commission critical of credit rating agencies

* EU executive disagrees on Greece downgrades

(Adds details, background)

BRUSSELS, March 30 (Reuters) – The European Commission
questioned Standard & Poor’s latest downgrade of Greece, saying
on Wednesday it did not share the rating agency’s view and had
concerns about how credit rating agencies functioned.

Standard & Poor’s downgraded both Portugal and Greece on
Tuesday, further undermining financial market confidence in the
countries’ abilities to meet their debt obligations.

Moody’s and Fitch have also been downgrading euro zone
states caught up in the bloc’s debt crisis. [IDnLDE72S1LY]

Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greece’s debt deeper into junk
status, saying that a bailout scheme agreed by euro zone leaders
last week increased the likelihood that private bondholders
would be hit by debt restructuring.

The firm cut Greece’s rating by two notches to BB-, lower
than its rating of BB for Turkey and Egypt, and said it could
downgrade the debt-choked country by another one or two notches
in case of budget slippages.

Asked to comment on the S&P downgrade of Greece, Commission
spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a news briefing:

“We don’t share that assessment (of Greece). We have our own
assessment and it is not the one of the agency you mentioned. We
don’t share that — we have our own view. It is shared by the
IMF and the EU.”

He added that Greece was doing all it could to implement a
fiscal adjustment programme agreed with the European Union and
the International Monetary Fund.

“Credit rating agencies have an important role to play. We
have said here on several occasions that we have some doubts and
a fair degree of criticism as to the way these credit rating
agencies function,” he said.

He added the Commission was making progress on preparing
legislation that would regulate the rating agencies better and
expected proposals later this year.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Luke Baker, editing by
Rex Merrifield/Ruth Pitchford)

UPDATE 1-EU executive questions Greek S&P rating downgrade