The leaders of Spain and Italy, meeting in Madrid, welcomed the ECB’s promises of help even as Spain’s borrowing costs shot up again because there was no imminent concrete action.
Both also shied away from asking for eurozone bailout support.
Italy’s Mario Monti said Rome has “no intention” of seeking EU help – for now.
“I do not know if Italy will ask for activation of this instrument,” Monti during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
“We will have to examine the characteristics and see if we need it or not,” Monti said, adding that such considerations were “premature”.
Rajoy would not comment when asked the same question and preferred to accentuate the positive.
He told reporters: “In Spain, we will continue to work to fulfil our commitments with regard to the public deficit, to reduce future public debt, and continue to carry out structural reforms.”
But all of Rajoy’s efforts so far have failed to dig Spain out of recession and even though the summer tourist trade trimmed July’s unemployment totals overall job losses in the service sector amid weak consumer confidence.
Spain’s jobless fell by 0.6 percent in July from a month earlier, or by 27,814 people, leaving 4.6 million people out of work according to data from the Labour Ministry. In July last year joblessness fell by 42,059 people.
In the second quarter, Spanish unemployment hit its highest level since the Franco dictatorship ended in the mid-1970s, at 24.6 percent, official data showed.
Monthly jobless data records the number Spaniards registered as out of work, while the unemployment rate is an official survey and considered a more reliable gauge of the jobs market.