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Monti Criticizes ‘Inappropriate’ Nordic Remark on Euro

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti criticized an “inappropriate” declaration by a Nordic country on the euro, saying it has contributed to driving up bond yields in some countries.

Agence France Presse on July 6 incorrectly cited a report in Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti about comments by Finland’s Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen. AFP said Urpilainen had told the newspaper the country would consider leaving the euro area rather than paying the debts of other countries in the currency bloc. Her aide Matti Hirvola told Bloomberg News on July 6 the AFP report was false.

Finland is committed to membership in the euro area and considers the euro beneficial, Hirvola said. Finland doesn’t support increasing joint liability within the bloc, he said.

Refraining from referring to Finland directly, Monti said that individual member states shouldn’t damage the credibility of decisions made collectively at the European level.

“The increase in spread linked to several factors, including the declaration, which I personally consider inappropriate from such and such a Nordic state, that has the effect of reducing the credibility that the European Council decided unanimously,” he told journalists in Aix-en-Provence, France. “We don’t undo unilaterally what we laboriously put together collectively.”

Monti also noted that Italy hasn’t received “one euro” in aid from other European Union member states, while contributing its share of support to bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. French and German banks have benefited more from support for the peripheral countries than Italian banks.

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