June 12, 2019 / 10:12 AM / 4 days ago

Intesa CEO calls on Italian govt to avert EU action over rising debt

ROME, June 12 (Reuters) - The head of Intesa Sanpaolo , Italy’s biggest retail bank, called on the Italian government on Wednesday to avert a fresh clash with the European Union over the country’s worsening public finances.

The EU moved closer on Tuesday to taking disciplinary action over Italy’s growing debt, a procedure that could saddle the country with large fines and alienate investors.

“Those in power must avoid exposing the country to an infringement procedure which could jeopardize ... (economic) growth,” Intesa CEO Carlo Messina told a conference in Rome.

“The infringement procedure must absolutely be avoided not because the ‘bad’ EU Commission is punishing us, but because investors would think our country is unreliable,” he added. (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Giselda Vagnoni, editing by Deepa Babington)

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