Italy’s new finance minister pledges to keep euro

11 Jun 18

Italy’s finance minister has ruled out leaving the eurozone following months of uncertainty about the country’s future within the common currency.

Giovanni Tria said there “isn’t any discussion on a plan to leave the euro” and that he would focus on structural reforms over deficit spending.

He added that Italy’s new government would seek to block any market conditions that would “push toward an exit”.

Tria told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that the government would focus on “growth and employment” in the structural reform programme and would also “make progress on many aspects of the European governance programme and banking union”.

Members of the government, which was sworn in at the beginning of this month after elections on 4 March, have given conflicting views about staying within the common currency.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which forms half of the coalition, has dwelled on the issue of ditching the single currency for years, but during the election campaign came down on the side of remaining in the eurozone.

The other half of the governing coalition, the right-wing League, has been less consistent, and recently a senior party figure said the party hoped the euro would collapse from within, allowing Italy to exit.

Tria, an academic, was appointed finance minister after the Eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona had initially been proposed for the job.

But Italian president Sergio Mattarella vetoed Savona’s appointment because of his open criticism of the euro.

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