May 24, 2018 / 1:30 PM / a year ago

Italy essential for euro zone - French finance minister

BRUSSELS, May 24 (Reuters) - Italy is an essential part of the euro zone and pro-European comments of Italian President Sergio Mattarella were a positive signal, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

Euro zone governments and financial markets have been alarmed at the impending arrival of a new government in Rome under Giuseppe Conte comprising of two eurosceptic, anti-establishment parties, who won votes by calling for an easing of euro zone budget discipline and public debt rules.

“Italy is an essential partner of the euro zone and an essential partner in Europe,” Le Maire said on entering talks of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels.

“It is one of the important economies of the euro zone and the European Union. We have all positively noted the first declarations of the president of the Republic. We think it is a positive signal. We want to work in a constructive fashion with Italy and we will judge it on its actions,” he said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Alissa de Carbonnel)

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