Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said that despite the recession there will be no need for a new austerity budget.
As Italy’s technocrat leader met bankers and investors at the Milan Stock Exchange he stressed his government has already done enough to get the country back on track fiscally: “If the recession lasts, if there is no improvement for the economy, is there a need for a new budget? The answer is no.”
He added: “Italy needs growth, and it can’t grow alone and it needs Europe to know that Italy has recognised its need for growth.”
Milan was the latest stop in Monti’s tour of financial capitals aimed at showcasing his government’s reform drive in the face of an impending deep recession.
Italy has to retain market confidence to refinance its massive — almost two trillion euro — debt. It is due to repay some 90 billion euros of bonds between February and the end of April alone.
The Italian Treasury said at the weekend that foreign investors are starting to buy its government bonds again.
Referring to the trend over the last two weeks, Maria Cannata, Director General in charge of public debt at theTreasury, said: “We are seeing an increase in buying interest and not only from Italy, but also from Germany, France, the Netherlands, the UK and lately also from Asia and the United States.”