Italys new economy minister Giovanni Tria ruled out leaving the euro and said he would focus on structural reforms over deficit spending.
“The position of the executive is clear and unanimous,” Tria told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in his first major interview since the countrys populist government was sworn in at the start of this month.
“There isnt any discussion on a plan to leave the euro,” he said, adding that “the government is determined, in any event, to prevent market conditions which push towards the exit to be materialized.”
Trias comments appeared designed to reassure financial markets — and to calm fears in the European Commission and among other EU governments that the new administration would implement anti-euro policies and clash with Brussels.
Tria told Corriere that the governments strategy would be “growth and employment” with a program “based on structural reforms,” and that his country would also “make progress on many aspects of the European governance program and banking union.”
Though the new government has not adopted a policy of leaving the euro, some members of the coalition including Matteo Salvini, the new interior minister, have criticized the currency in the past and others have floated the idea of a referendum on Italy quitting the monetary union.
Tria himself was appointed economy minister after a Euroskeptic economist, Paolo Savona, was initially proposed for the job. But Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed Savonas appointment to the post because of his open criticism of the euro.
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