As Italy saw its bond yields rise this week amid concerns over Spain and the wider 17-country eurozone, the Austrian finance minister suggested Italy may also eventually need a bailout. She quickly backtracked on the remarks, however, after Monti and other European officials criticized them as inappropriate and counterproductive.
Monti firmly denied Italy will need outside assistance to keep up with payments on its debt, noting Wednesday that public finances are on much better footing than a few months ago. Italy is negotiating with both Switzerland and San Marino on deals to recoup revenues from money Italians have illegally stashed abroad. The deal with Switzerland alone could net up to €40 billion, by some estimates.
He also made it clear that a broad European action plan is needed to avoid a spread of market panic from Spain to other countries like Italy, calling for concrete measures to be agreed at a June 28 EU summit.
He said that such measures as eurobonds - or jointly issued European debt to spread risk favored by France and Italy but opposed by Germany - don't need to be introduced this year, but should at least be in the early stages of planning.
Paola Barisani and Trisha Thomas in Rome contributed to this report.
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