June 14, 2019 / 8:28 AM / 3 months ago

Italy doesn't need mini-bills - industry lobby

ROME, June 14 (Reuters) - Discussions in Italy over plans for the state to issue short-term debt to settle overdue payments to suppliers are dangerous and there is no need for such instruments, Italian industry lobby Confindustria said on Friday.

Italy’s ruling parties have included such mini-bills, or “mini-BOTs”, in a coalition pact the right-wing League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement signed last year.

Renewed talks about mini-BOTs have drawn criticism from both the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund and heightened tensions within the government.

“It is dangerous to add to tensions and risks at this juncture by talking about mini-BOTs, when the country needs instead a credible medium-term strategy to reduce ... interest rates ... and increase economic growth”, Confindustria said.

Both ECB President Mario Draghi and Economy Minister Giovanni Tria say the mini-BOTs would either be illegal as a form of parallel currency or simply inflate Italy’s already high debt.

Confindustria said there was no need for mini-BOTs because the public administration’s “commercial debts in arrears are decreasing as is the time needed for them to be paid, and Italian firms are not suffering any liquidity shortage at present.”

Reporting by Antonella Cinelli, editing by Valentina Za

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