Stock Market Today Pre-Market Sell Off on Mario Monti Comments
Stock Market Today Pre-Market Sell Off on Mario Monti Comments Part 2
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According to the AP, Monti warns markets, touts reforms ahead of Draghi. Italy's prime minister warned markets to give his country more credit for its fiscal reforms and said he favored bold measures to tackle Europe's debt crisis, outlining a possible future policy path for the region as a key ECB meeting got under way.
Mario Monti, a technocrat drafted in after Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier last year, said continued high borrowing costs for Italy could usher in a eurosceptic government that would renege on fiscal targets.
"I can assure you that if the (bond yield) spread in Italy remains at these levels for some time ... then you are going to see a... non euro-oriented, non fiscal discipline-oriented government taking power in Italy," he told a conference.
Italy's bond yields have stayed stubbornly high despite budget reform efforts steered by Monti, contributing to the pressure to match words with bold actions that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is under after he pledged last week to do whatever it takes to save the euro.
Markets believe the main option on the table for the ECB is a resumption of its bond-buying program, which would ease Spanish and Italian borrowing costs, though Reuters reported on Monday that that action could be weeks away.
Italy is due to hold elections next spring, which Monti has said he will not contest, but disagreements within the ruling coalition - in part over the cost of implementing tough austerity measures during a recession - have prompted speculation the government could fall this year.
Center-right leader Berlusconi, who has hinted he may run again for prime minister, has made several comments in recent months suggesting that Italy could consider quitting the euro zone.
Running the rule over further options for strengthening the single currency bloc, Monti said he strongly favored jointly issued bonds but admitted other measures in support of a European fiscal union would have to be introduced first.
On Wednesday, he predicted the euro zone's ESM rescue fund would eventually be granted a banking license, allowing it to tap unlimited resources through the ECB's liquidity operations.
Euro zone paymaster Germany is strongly opposed to both measures. Finland has also said it opposes common euro zone bonds.
Monti was visiting Finland as part of a campaign for concerted action by euro zone governments and the ECB to help bring down peripheral sovereign borrowing costs. Italian 10-year bond yields were 14 basis points lower on the day at 5.94 percent.
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