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23 January 2012

WSJ: Italy's Monti seeks to assure on debt effort

Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, said that he has "very high" expectations that eurozone countries will eventually agree to pool their debt through jointly-issued bonds.

Mr Monti  was outlining key planks of his plan to restore market confidence in Italy's ability to pay down its €1.9 trillion  debt. The government will introduce a decree within six months to detail the ownership split between energy companies Eni and Snam SpA as part of the country's liberalisation process.

There is no "delaying" on the government's part the decision to force Eni to sell its stake in Snam after Friday's measures to compel it to do so, Mr Monti said. The lapse of time reflects the fact that the companies are listed and have to meet market obligations, he said.

The creation of a possible eurozone bond, meanwhile, is unlikely to happen before 2013, Mr Monti said. But he added that he expects to witness a change of "reasoning" on the jointly-backed eurozone bonds before his term is scheduled to end in 2013. Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, is strongly opposed to the idea.

Mr Monti also said he hadn't decided whether he will ask for a parliamentary confidence vote on the liberalisation measures introduced Friday and the further ones to be introduced next Friday. "I advise Parliament not to radically change the measures in the decree", Mr Monti said.

Full article

© Wall Street Journal

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