Berlusconi speaks to Spain's Zapatero on debt crisis

5th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Friday about the debt crisis hitting Italy and Spain, an Italian government source told AFP.

"There was a consultation on the current economic situation," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source said Berlusconi also spoke to European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.

Italian and Spanish stocks plunged at the start of trading on Friday but later recovered amid rumours that the European Central Bank was intervening in the bond markets to shore up investor confidence.

Both countries released sickly economic growth figures for the second quarter -- with Italy ticking up slightly to a rate of 0.3 percent and Spain growth rate going down to 0.2 percent.

The EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Italy and Spain will not have to be bailed out but should strictly implement planned reforms.

© 2011 AFP

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