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Vienna, 09 November 2012 Fekter: "We owe our triple A to our strict stability and reform policy" Fitch rating agency assigns its best triple A rating to Austria, praising in particular the stability and reform package approved in March.

"We can maintain our outstanding international rating by continuing to follow a strict reform policy", assured Dr. Maria Fekter after the Fitch rating agency announced its best triple A rating. "Fitch warned in particular that the savings package would not be fully implemented", stated Fekter. "This means that failing to follow the path to consolidation would endanger the rating," explained the minister. The rating agency also referred to other risks affecting Austria, namely its high debt ratio and domestic banks. "Intensification of the Eurozone crisis would also be detrimental to Austria's credit rating," stressed Fekter.

"Fitch rated our macroeconomic balance, relatively high per capita GDP, continuing current account surpluses and low unemployment rate very highly", reported Fekter. As before, Austria continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union. "We were also praised for our stability-oriented economic policy, strong domestic institutions and budget reform", stated the Minister of Finance. "Fitch particularly stressed the approximately 28 billion approved for a stability package in the spring, and the debt limit jointly approved at the federal, state and municipal levels. These actions put us on the proper course to escape from the debt trap, and have now also been confirmed", stated the Minister of Finance.

At the same time, Fekter promised that: "As the Austrian Minister of Finance, I will continue to ensure that we maintain our course of reforms. Our planned consolidation measures do not slow domestic economic growth or inhibit investment. This will preserve existing jobs and purchasing power, and I will do everything I can to ensure that inflation is not driven higher", concluded Fekter.