June 10, 2019 / 11:21 AM / 2 months ago

Italy's Salvini says open to alternative tools to 'mini-BOT' securities

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Prime Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini speaks to the media at the League party headquarters, following the results of the European Parliament elections, in Milan, Italy May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - League leader Matteo Salvini said on Monday he was open to other solutions to so-called “mini-BOT” securities to pay public debts in arrears after his party’s proposal to introduce this form of payment upset financial markets.

The idea has been rejected both by the European Central Bank and Italy’s economy minister.

“If there are other tools that are equally effective that’s fine,” Salvini said when asked about the League’s suggestion that the state could issue short-term debt to pay suppliers which are owed tens of billions of euros by Italy’s public administration.

In a press conference after the League emerged further boosted by Sunday’s local elections, Salvini said picking a fight with the European Union was the “last thing” he wanted to do, adding he was sure it would be possible to find an accord with Brussels over the need to boost Italy’s economic growth.

Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, editing by Valentina Za

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