October 26, 2018 / 3:53 PM / 10 months ago

Italy's Salvini says open to possibility of a Monte Pas chi merger

ROME, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Friday he had no objection to the possibility of a merger for state-controlled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and added that no Italian bank will collapse.

In other remarks, Salvini said the government “will not backtrack even by half a millimetre” in its ongoing dispute with the European Commission over Rome’s expansionary 2019 budget.

Asked by reporters in Rome about the possibility of mergers for banks, including Monte Paschi, Salvini replied: “Why not, if it makes economic sense?”

Italy’s banks are under financial pressure because of the rise in yields on their holdings of Italian government bonds, but Salvini said the banking system as a whole was “healthy.” (Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Gavin Jones)

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