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Standard & Poor's raises Greece's credit rating by 6 notches citing EU actions on crisis


Athenians chat outside a bank as they shelter from a rainfall in central Athens, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Greece is failing to collect the tax it is owed and is in danger of missing key targets that need to be met to reduce the government's staggering debt pile, the European Union warned on Monday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) (The Associated Press)

Standard & Poor's ratings agency has raised Greece's credit grade by 6 notches to B-, yanking the debt-heavy country out of default but still keeping its devalued bonds in the junk zone.

The agency said Tuesday that the upgrade reflected its view that the other 16 European Union countries using the euro are determined to keep Greece inside the currency union.

It gave Greece a stable outlook, meaning it will not consider ratings changes in coming months.

S&P recently downgraded Greece to the bottom of its ratings scale after the country announced a debt buyback financed by its European partners. The purchase was successfully completed last week, and will reduce the country's debt by some €20 billion ($26.4 billion).