Possible bottlenecks in the gas supply can affect the creditworthiness of European countries.

The rating agency Moody's warned of this risk on Thursday.

According to the credit assessors, a gas crisis could have a particularly strong impact on the financial health of Slovakia (“A2/negative” rating), the Czech Republic (“Aa2”) and Italy (“Baa3/negative”).

Markus Fruehauf

Editor in Business.

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All three countries are very dependent on Russian gas.

For the sustainability of the high national debt, Italy is dependent on growth that would be slowed down by a shortage of gas.

According to the Moody's analysts, this would put a strain on the financial strength of the Italian state.

For the Czech Republic and Slovakia, energy-intensive industries are of great importance, which would suffer from rationing.

Germany ("Aaa") and Austria ("Aa1") are also very dependent on Russian gas supplies and energy-intensive industries.

Although a recession is unavoidable in a gas crisis, the Moody's analysts consider Germany to be so resilient that no negative consequences for the credit risk profile are to be expected.

As with the other two leading rating agencies S&P Global and Fitch, Germany also has the highest rating from Moody's.

In contrast, Italy, which is highly indebted, ranks at “Baa3” on the last level that is still considered worthy of investment.

Earlier in the week, the outlook was downgraded to negative, threatening Italy's descent into junk territory.