'Full confidence' in Italian finances: Germany

11th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany expressed on Monday its "full confidence" in Italy's ability to bring its public finances under control, dismissing speculation that Rome could become the next eurozone debt crisis casualty.

"The (German) government has full confidence in the Italian government," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government briefing.

"It has full confidence in the Italian government taking the necessary clear decisions for an austerity budget. Speculation suggesting otherwise is completely misplaced," he said.

He also denied that Italy would be discussed at a meeting in Brussels of EU president Herman Van Rompuy, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker and European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet.

"As far as we know Italy is not on the agenda of this meeting. It is about working out a new programme for Greece," Seibert said.

Italy's financial regulator imposed temporary curbs on short selling after shares there plunged on fears that the eurozone's third-biggest economy could follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a bailout.

The meeting in Brussels comes ahead of a gathering of finance ministers from the 17-nation eurozone the same day.

© 2011 AFP

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