August 3, 2011 / 5:21 PM / 8 years ago

Italy PM Berlusconi speech to parliament on markets

ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called for a joint effort for economic reform in a speech to parliament aimed at calming fears that escalating market turmoil could drag Italy into a full-scale crisis.

Following are some of the highlights:

“The country is economically and financially solid. In difficult moments, it knows how to stay together and confront difficulties. The government and parliament will act, I hope, with a large political and social consensus to fight every threat to our financial stability. Today more than ever, we need to act all together.”

“As often happens during a crisis of confidence, the markets overall are not evaluating correctly the merits of credit systems; investors’ evaluations of our bonds don’t take into proper account the solidity of our banking system, the healthy asset base of our families and companies, contained foreign debt, the lack of imbalances in the real estate sector and the prudence followed on budgetary policies during the crisis.”

“It’s clear that the problems and the emergency that we’ve had to face in the last few weeks are a direct consequence of a crisis of confidence that has hit international markets and doesn’t seem to be calmed, due as much to the uncertainties over the euro as financial speculation.”

“Our country has a solid political system...we have solid economic fundamentals. Our banks are liquid, solvent and they’ve easily passed the European stress tests.”

“The markets didn’t reflect, and still don’t reflect the importance of (European) interventions that have been taken. So it’s essential to give certainty to markets”

“I hope that the opposition do what they are called on to do without losing the common objective, which I am certain is to get Italy out of this crisis, which is not Italian but global.”

“It is essential that a financial decree on a taxation system which modernises Italy is approved quickly.”

“I will not be deaf to ideas from the opposition if they are inspired by a patriotic spirit.”

Reporting by Deepa Babington, Catherine Hornby, Gavin Jones, James Mackenzie

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