Martedì, 25 Settembre 2018
HELSINKI

Monti warns of Euro-skeptic Italy over bond pressure

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Helsinki, August 2 - Premier Mario Monti has warned
that Italy risked turning Euro-skeptic if its bonds stayed under
pressure and its borrowing costs remained high despite efforts
to put its economic house in order.
Monti was speaking early on Thursday before market
disappointment at European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's
comments on how it intends to fight the eurozone crisis sent the
yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German
benchmark soaring over 500 points.
"The high level of the (bond yield) spread does not
necessarily lead to good policies and economic reforms, but
exactly the opposite," Monti told reporters in Helsinki before
ending a visit to Finland to travel to Madrid for talks with
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
"That's because I can guarantee that if the spread stays at
this level for some time, we will not see a pro-Europe
government in power in Italy but one that is not orientated
towards the euro and in favour of budget discipline".
Former European commissioner Monti's emergency technocrat
administration, who has introduced a series of structural
economic reforms and public-spending cuts, is set to make way
for a return to a government run by Italy's political parties
following elections next year.
The spread, a barometer of Italy's borrowing costs and of
investor faith in its ability to weather the eurozone crisis,
climbed by around 60 points to close at 505.9 with a yield close
to 6.3%.
Monti said Italy has "no intention at the moment" of asking
for European rescue funds to be used to support its bonds in
Madrid later on Thursday, but added that he did not know if
Italy would need the so-called spread shield in the future.
He also said that, while the markets responded badly to
Draghi's comments, he assessed them positively.
"I only see steps forward and no steps backward," Monti
said.
Draghi said that the European Central Bank will draft plans
in the coming weeks on mechanisms to support eurozone countries
facing soaring borrowing costs by buying their state bonds.
Draghi said it was within the central bank's mandate to
intervene on the money markets to alleviate the current
"exceptionally high" bond-spread levels, which he described as
"unacceptable".
However, the comments did not seem to meet the high
expectations Draghi created last week when he said the ECB would
"do whatever it takes" to stop the crisis, with European stock
markets sustaining big losses and yield spreads climbing sharply
on Thursday.
Those words sparked speculation the bank would soon start
buying under-pressure Spanish bonds and possibly Italian ones,
but on Thursday he suggested any bond buying would not start
until September.
He also suggested that the ECB would only act if member
states requested bond support from the European Union rescue
funds.

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