ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi welcomed recent falls in the euro and would like to see the currency fall further to match the level of the dollar, the Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying on Thursday.
“My dream is parity,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper in an interview at the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
A weaker euro could help Italy, which depends heavily on exports.
His comments come ahead of an expected announcement from the European Central Bank on Thursday of a program to pump fresh money into the financial system through purchases of government bonds to fight the threat of deflation and revive the euro zone economy.
Renzi has welcomed the prospect of so-called quantitative easing.
The newspaper also quoted him repeating calls for a change in direction in European economic policy to focus on growth rather than budgetary austerity and said he warned against Germany becoming isolated from the rest of the euro zone.
The newspaper said Renzi disagreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s position on euro zone stimulus after Merkel played down the likely impact of the ECB’s expected QE and also warned against easing the pressure for structural reforms in the bloc.
“Germany against the rest of the world, this could be a mistake,” he was quoted as saying.
Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Susan Fenton