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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone bailout fund has not received any request and has not discussed with Italy a possible programme of financial support for its ailing banking sector, a spokesman for the fund said on Wednesday.
"There is no request and there are no discussions with the Italian authorities on an ESM loan," a spokesman for the European Stability Mechanism told Reuters in an emailed statement.
On Wednesday, Italian daily La Stampa reported that Italy is set to ask the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) for a loan of 15 billion euros (12.71 billion pounds) , quoting two sources from the Treasury. The Italian finance ministry denied such a request was being prepared.
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop