September 26, 2012 / 3:05 PM / 5 years ago

Italy's finance minister says no plans to ask for aid

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Despite Italy’s worsening economy and public finances, it has no intention of seeking help from the European Union bailout fund or the European Central Bank, Italy’s economy minister said on Wednesday.

Vittorio Grilli, chairman of the EU's Economic and Financial Committee, looks on during a news conference in Rome July 28, 2011. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

To avoid being sucked deeper into the euro zone’s debt crisis, Italy has implemented austerity measures that have sapped consumer morale and intensified its recession, eating into tax revenues and pushing up the budget deficit.

“Italy is doing, I believe, a very good job in reforming its economy and without the need for any extra help,” Vittorio Grilli said, speaking at a media briefing following a meeting with Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann.

“So at this point, it is not within any plan of the Italian government to apply for any programme. We are quite confident we are solving Italian problems within our government mandate.”

Weidmann said Italy was strong enough and its economic fundamentals sound enough that it did not need a rescue package.

Grilli would not comment on whether Spain needed a programme, saying it would be up to Spain itself. He said, however, that Spanish reforms were progressing quite speedily.

Reporting By Sakari Suoninen and Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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