MILAN, July 13 Italy does not need help in
managing its economy from the European Commission, European
Central Bank or International Monetary Fund, Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday.
Renzi, interviewed in newspaper Corriere della Sera, was
asked whether Italy could be put under an international aid
programme and be supervised by the so-called troika - a joint
committee made up of officials from the European Commission, the
ECB and the IMF. Renzi said: "never."
The prime minister, who took office last February, said that
Italy was stronger than it was perceived from abroad. He also
said he did not fear that international investors would have a
change of heart on Italy.
Renzi said he was more worried about internal opposition to
his six-month old government than the possibility of a change in
foreign investors' sentiment about Italy.
"I do not live in fear of the markets. Italy is stronger
than the worries of observers," he said.
"The real problem is that (economic) recovery in Europe is
very fragile ... more than expected," Renzi told the paper,
adding industrial output was falling in Italy and Germany.
Italian industrial output dropped 1.2 percent month-on-month
in May, posting its steepest monthly fall since Nov. 2012, data
showed on Thursday.
The financial markets were unnerved last week by troubles at
the parent company of Portugal's biggest bank Banco do Espirito
Santo which sparked a sell-off in Portuguese bonds and
shares. This marked the first significant wobble this year in
peripheral euro zone bonds.
As a consequence the yield premium Italian government bonds
pay over the safer German bonds increased by 25 basis points
last week. In addition, two Italian companies were forced to
scrap plans to debut on the Milan stock exchange because of poor
demand from investors.
But Italy's Treasury was able to sell 7.5 billion euros of
bonds, the top of its targeted range, at a solid auction on
Renzi said Italian banks should move quickly to restore
lending to companies and households to help the recovery gain
speed. "The banks are full of liquidity... They have to lend
money to companies instead of complaining," he said.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini. Editing by Jane Merriman)