One of the major credit rating agencies, Moody's, has placed the United Kingdom and two other European countries on what's described as "negative outlook".
The move is not a downgrade of Britain's triple-A credit rating but Moody's says the change has been made to reflect the growing risks from the eurozone crisis. Labour said it showed the government needed to do more to stimulate growth.
But the chancellor, George Osborne, told Today presenter John Humphrys that this was proof that Britain could not waver from dealing with its debts: "The idea that I've abandoned growth is nonsense. Of course I want growth. Of course I want to see unemployment fall. That's what I spend every day of my life trying to bring about.
"But the truth is this. If you don't have confidence in a country's ability to pay its debts - as you have seen with plenty of other European countries - then you get negative growth, rising unemployment and no prospect of recovery."
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