Moody's Investor's Service warned France that its coveted triple-A credit rating is in jeopardy, a warning that has deep repercussions throughout the eurozone.
France has been one of the key countries, alongside Germany, that has been working for two years to restore confidence in the eurozone, which is struggling with financial difficulties in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, among others.
Europe may have to face a downgrade in the second largest economy of the region, after Germany, and one of the pillars of the continent's economy, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In an annual report on France, Moody's said it would "monitor and assess the outlook in terms of the government's progress implementing necessary economic and fiscal reforms, while taking into account any potential adverse economic or financial market developments."
Investors reacted to the Moody's report by shifting purchases to German bonds, which caused the spread between French and German 10-year notes to hit an 11-year record.
France, meanwhile, is the second largest contributor to the European Financial Stability Facility, which has been set up to help struggling eurozone countries.
France has made sovereign guarantees to the EFSF of $204 billion, about 8 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the Journal reported.