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Monti Says He’d Prefer Other Country to Trigger EU Bond Buying

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said the European Union’s plan to buy bonds of countries struggling to bring down borrowing costs shouldn’t carry a stigma, though he would prefer that Italy not be the first nation to trigger a rescue.

“It’s a mechanism that should be encouraged, designed to support without stigma those who use it, and its aimed at countries that are already meeting EU rules and conditions,” he said during a panel discussion at a conference in Milan.

“I am all for it even if I prefer that another country become the first to test it. I don’t think Italy needs it now and won’t need it in the future,” he said today.

Monti also said that jointly issuing European debt, or sellling so-called eurobonds, should still be discussed and that Italy was fighting to keep the idea “on the table.”

The Italian premier said that he had considered asking for an extension of deficit targets agreed with the EU, though he had no regrets about sticking to the original goals, especially after seeing how some countries that were granted more time fared.

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