May 31, 2018 / 9:38 AM / 3 months ago

Italian election won't be referendum on euro: Germany's Scholz

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a Reuters interview published on Thursday that he does not expect the next election in Italy to become a referendum on its euro zone membership.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz poses for a portrait before a Reuters interview in Berlin, Germany, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Anti-European remarks by leading Italian politicians and almost three months of political turmoil in the euro zone’s third-largest economy have spooked financial markets.

Asked if he was concerned that a fresh election in Italy could turn into a referendum about its euro zone membership, Scholz said: “No, I’m not worried that this will happen.”

Scholz said Italy was a founding member of the EU and a majority of Italians were pro-European. He added the euro zone should accelerate its efforts to strengthen the single currency bloc despite the political situation in Italy.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Gernot Heller; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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