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Euro Area Needs ‘Big Dog’ Bonds to Defend Currency, Prodi Says

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Euro leaders need to issue joint bonds backed by gold reserves and infrastructure to defend the 17-nation currency area, former European Commission President Romano Prodi said.

That would create a “dog that barks and bites” speculators seeking to attack the currency Prodi said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Rome. “The dollar is not attacked because it is a big dog, and you have small cats around Europe.”

Asked whether the European Central Bank should act as a lender of last resort, Prodi said that was compatible with the central bank’s mandate to ensure price stability.

Prodi also said new Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is “credible” and is “needed right now” in the “perennial summit” between France and Germany.

Monti will meet tomorrow in Brussels with EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso. Monti will also hold “informal talks” with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Nov. 24 in Strasbourg, France.

Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italian Prime Minister on Nov. 12 after defections eroded his parliamentary majority and the country’s 10-year bond yields surged over the 7 percent threshold that prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net; Flavia Rotondi in Rome at rotondi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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