MILAN, July 13 (Reuters) - 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 Friday.
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)