Standard and Poors, the international credit rating agency, has downgraded Italys rating from stable to negative in its most recent valuation. The reason given for the downgrade is that S&P believes that whichever political formation wins the 2006 general elections, whether it is the present centre-right coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi or the opposition centre-left group of parties, neither has the strength nor the political will to impose the necessary economic reforms.