Eurozone crisis fund chief urges Italy to act fast
The head of the eurozone crisis fund called on Italy to act swiftly to reassure markets about its financial and political stability, in an interview in several European newspapers on Friday.
And he said that the fund was ready to help Italy immediately if it was asked.
"Italy doesn't have much time to reassure the markets," said Klaus Regling, head of the European Financial Stability Facility, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
"The country needs a functioning government as soon as possible."
Italy is in political limbo after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced he will quit in the face of a worsening debt crisis that is spreading across Europe.
Italy's parliament will on Friday debate a new series of austerity measures designed to fend off bankruptcy in the country, the eurozone's third-biggest economy.
Regling said the fund was ready to step in to help Italy if necessary.
"If a country comes and says it needs help straight away, then we are ready," he said.
Jitters about Italy's 1.9 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) debt pushed the government's borrowing rates to alarming levels above seven percent this week although they dropped to 6.9 percent on Thursday.
© 2011 AFP