Standard & Poor's placed long-term sovereign ratings of 15 European Union members on credit-watch negative Monday. The credit ratings agency warned these countries of a more probable downgrade in 90 days as the threat of a recession in the region grows. Credit has tightened. Policymakers remain deadlocked, and government debts are still elevated, S&P said in a statement. The firm said there is a 40% chance of a recession in Europe, specifically in Spain, Portugal and Greece. Standard & Poor's placed long-term sovereign ratings of 15 European Union members on credit-watch negative Monday. The credit ratings agency warned these countries of a more probable downgrade in 90 days as the threat of a recession in the region grows. Credit has tightened. Policymakers remain deadlocked, and government debts are still elevated, S&P said in a statement. The firm said there is a 40% chance of a recession in Europe, specifically in Spain, Portugal and Greece. As of Monday, the following AAA-rated countries were on credit-watch negative: Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany. The rest: Belgium (AA), Estonia (AA-), Ireland (BBB+), Italy (A), Malta (A), Portugal (BBB-), Slovakia (A+), Slovenia (AA-) and Spain (AA-). The short-term debt of the Republic of Cyprus (BBB) was placed on credit-watch negative. It's long-term debt was already on credit-watch negative. S&P ratings on Greece, which is at CC was left intact under the agency's "belief that there is a relatively high near-term probability of default." S&P analysts will review the ratings soon after the EU summit Dec. 8 to Dec. 9. It expects ratings could be lowered at least one notch for Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg, with the other countries falling up to two notches. The eurozone troubles have shown some effects in the American economy, even for housing. Treasury rates remain low, and mortgage rates tied to them remain near record levels around an average 4%. Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann said in October that a Europe recession would likely spread stateside, thwarting what little recovery U.S. housing has gained since the crisis. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.