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Erdoğan blasts credit rating agencies: ‘What is the referendum to you?’

President Erdogan has once again slammed credit rating agencies over their recent downgrading of Turkey’s credit rating, in which many cited the upcoming vote on constitutional amendments to shift from a parliamentary system to an executive presidential system.

“Have you seen the justifications that they [credit rating agencies] used for the downgrade? ‘The constitution vote in Turkey.’ It is none of your business whether or not the constitution vote is held. Who are you?” Erdoğan said at a meeting of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in the capital Ankara on Feb. 7.

Fitch downgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk” late on Jan. 27, snuffing out its last remaining investment grade by underlining deepening concerns over the country’s political and security developments.

The ratings cut, although widely expected by the markets, came hours after Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook for Turkey to “negative” from “stable,” citing growing constraints on policymakers’ ability to contain inflation and shore up the tumbling lira currency.

The 18-article package that will bring drastic changes to Turkey’s political system will be put to a referendum on either April 2 or 9 in accordance with the date selected by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) after President Erdogan approves the amendments.

HDN

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