Ireland's Debt Lowered to 'Junk' Status

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An international ratings agency has cut Ireland's debt rating to junk status.

Moody's Investors Service says the Irish government may need more international financing to shore up its ailing economy when current support ends in 2013.

The company said Tuesday the outlook on the ratings remains negative.

The move puts Ireland back on the list of heavily indebted European countries in danger of default.

Moody's warned that further downgrades were possible if the Irish government failed to meet its deficit reduction targets, or if Greece were to default, thereby causing further market disruption.

Meanwhile, Italy may have a hard time paying off its huge debt, and Greece continues to struggle despite an international bailout earlier this year.

Some analysts are concerned the crisis could spread through Europe as the European Union tries to bail out countries facing debt problems.

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