August 29, 2018 / 1:37 PM / 3 months ago

Italy not asking for ECB backstop in case of speculative attack - Deputy PM

CAIRO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday that the country has not asked the European Central Bank to buy its bonds in case the government’s 2019 spending plans spark a loss of confidence among investors.

Asked about an Italian newspaper report from Wednesday that said Italy was raising its voice to get possible support from the ECB, Di Maio told reporters: “We’re not asking anyone for help because there’s no speculative attack.”

Di Maio spoke to reporters in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Italy’s populist government’s plans to cut taxes and hike welfare spending has focused market concern on the country’s debt, the second-largest in Europe.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis, writing by Steve Scherer, editing by Francesca Landini

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