Berlusconi Says Draghi’s Program to Curb Bond Spreads Will Fail

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s bond-buying program will fail to help governments that seek aid.

“This ECB initiative, as regards excessive bond spreads, can’t work,” Berlusconi said today at a book presentation in Rome. “You see how my Spanish colleague, the prime minister, resists this push to make him ask for help.”

Countries that request assistance will be hurt by austerity measures imposed by the European Union and by a stigma of weakness in the market, Berlusconi said. Greece, which has sunk deeper into recession, is an example of what happens to governments that sign memorandums of understanding with European institutions, he said.

“These rules, which have already been dictated to Greece, bring the economy to collapse, pushing the economy of each country into a recessive spiral with no foreseeable end,” Berlusconi said.

A country that wants help “must declare to the world its condition of need, which would lead to a devaluation of the nation’s economy and its products,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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