Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
HELSINKI

Monti says Italy may need spread shield

(ANSA) - Helsinki, August 1 - Italian Premier Mario Monti
on Wednesday said Italy may need to ask for European rescue
funds to be used to support its bonds if the money markets
contiue to be slow to see the country's efforts to put its
economic house in order.
"Aid may be necessary as markets are reacting slowly to
Italy's efforts and achievements," said Monti, referring to
reforms by his technocrat government since taking over from
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned amidst economic
crisis in November.
He stressed the use of the so-called spread shield would
not mean that Italy would need a full-blown bailout.
Monti told the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat before
meetings with Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen that he
"feels frustration that Italy's painful reforms have not yet
been reflected in lower interest rates."
Italy does not need special help right now, but that does
not mean it will not need a shot of "oxygen" to help it breathe
in future, he said.
The Italian premier urged his counterparts to work
collectively to lower borrowing costs across the region.
Monti and other leaders have been pushing for rapid
implementation of a June European Union summit agreement that
would ease the way for purchase of distressed sovereign-debt
with the region's rescue funds.
Monti said that he believes the European Union's
soon-to-be-launched rescue fund, the European Stability
Mechanism (ESM), will eventually have a banking licence to give
it more power to fight the eurozone crisis.
"I think that giving a banking licence to the ESM would
help and I think this will happen in due time," Monti said.
Berlin is opposed to giving the ESM a banking licence.
Monti also explained the importance of the crisis tools
available to European countries, and why these may be needed by
"virtuous" countries such as Italy, which have been making
concerted efforts domestically to deal with the crisis".
"We are thinking of a possible intervention in various
combinations involving the temporary rescue fund, the permanent
European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Central
Bank," he said.
Finland, the most northern member of the eurozone, has
taken a very hard line on rescue packages, insisting on strict
terms of austerity and collateral before participating.
Monti moves on to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy on Thursday to discuss stepping up efforts to resolve the
crisis.
Their meeting will coincide with a session of the ECB, its
first meeting since ECB President Mario Draghi cheered markets
and heightened expectations after pledging he would do "whatever
it takes" to save the euro.

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