BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission and Italy have reached an accord over measures to help Italian banks sell some of their pile of some 200 billion euros (151 billion pounds) of non-performing loans, a Commission spokesman said on Tuesday.
The deal, which follows almost a year of negotiations, was reached after a meeting of around five hours between Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.
Padoan told reporters the accord was based on "a guarantee mechanism which is a very useful instrument for dealing with bad loans."
He gave little detail, saying that "the technical details would be finalised in the coming hours."
Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Valentina Za