Two European Commissioners went to Rome today to get their heads together with new Prime Minister Mario Monti.
First came Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn. He urged faster budget cutting and the adoption of “bold measures to relaunch growth” to Italy’s Parliamentary Budget and European committees.
He said the country’s challenges came from “well-known and long-standing structural weaknesses”, and promised his expert’s monitoring of Italian austerity would make their first report on November
Internal market Commissioner Michel Barnier added his support for reforms, coming to discuss state holdings of “golden shares” in major companies.
Friday saw the Italian Central bank face a vertiginous jump in borrowing costs to all-time highs for 2-year bonds. They are now twice as costly to issue as a just a month ago. The world’s fourth-biggest borrower is now facing a struggle to pay its debt, although the bank insisted this latest hike will have “no lasting effect”.