Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Monti, Hollande present united front on crisis

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, September 4 - Italian Premier Mario Monti and
French President Francois Hollande said they had "synergy and
unity of objectives" after meeting for talks in Rome on Tuesday
during what is set to be a crunch week for the eurozone debt
crisis.
The financial markets are anxiously waiting for Thursday's
policy meeting of the European Central Bank, when President
Mario Draghi is expected to reveal plans to buy the state bonds
of Spain and Italy to lower their borrowing costs and ease the
crisis, despite resistance from Germany's central bank.
"If we want to restore confidence, we must not have doubts
about the eurozone," Hollande told a press conference after the
talks.
Hollande identified three steps for solving the eurozone
crisis: applying the decisions made at the EU Council summit in
June, solving the problems of Greece and Spain and creating the
banking union, which he hoped would be addressed at the next
European Council meeting on October 18-19.
On the first point Monti said that Italy and France would
work to ensure the measures agreed by European leaders in June
to lower the borrowing costs of the countries at the centre of
the eurozone debt crisis are fully applied.
He added that the European Union must recognise the efforts
individual countries are making to put their economic houses in
order by helping them lower their borrowing costs.
"It's necessary that, as progress is gradually made in
economic policy, there should be recognition from the EU itself
so that the great obstacles of the (bond) spreads, that have
nothing to do with the performance of the economy, do not
persist," the Italian premier said.
Concerning the struggling Greek economy Hollande said he was
in favour of granting the country more time to meet its economic
targets if the troika of international creditors - the European
Commission, European Central bank and International Monetary
Fund - overseeing application of its bailout conditions gave a
positive appraisal of its progress.
The French president said the plan could be "re-applied"
without any need for another bailout.
On the separate issue of the controversial high-speed rail
link between Turin and Lyon, Monti described the project as
"fundamental" and reiterated the commitment of France and Italy
to its completion.
In July Paris daily Le Figaro reported that the French
government was considering reviewing and possibly scrapping 10
high-speed railway lines, including the Turin-Lyon link, due to
high costs and a drop in freight traffic as a result of the
recession.
France subsequently confirmed its commitment to the project
but said a new funding agreement was required.

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