Sarkozy, in Madrid, plays down "AAA" rating loss

Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:00pm EST
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MADRID (Reuters) - President Nicolas Sarkozy sought Monday to play down the impact of France losing its triple-A credit rating with agency Standard & Poor's, saying the move would not derail France's plans for reform and budget reduction.

"My deep belief is that it does not change anything," he told journalists.

"We must reduce the deficit, we must reduce our spending and we must improve the competitiveness of our economy to resume our way on the path to growth."

(Corrects to Standard & Poor's in lead paragraph)

(Reporting By Emmanuel Jarry, writing by Nick Vinocur; editing by Geert De Clercq)