Bersani Aide Fassina Denies Signaling Euro Could Disintegrate

The economic-policy spokesman for the frontrunner in Italy’s election campaign said he does believe the euro is irreversible and his comments signalling Europe’s monetary union could disintegrate were misreported.

“What I said has been reported in a definitely improper way,” Stefano Fassina, head of economic policy for the coalition led by Pier Luigi Bersani, said today about his speech at a Rome event yesterday. “What I said is that in order to make it possible for the euro, which is not an optimal monetary area, to exploit its potential at best, we need to change the course of action.”

Speaking at a debate organized by the Bruno Leoni Institute, Fassina said yesterday that European governments “need to coordinate macroeconomic policy” if they “want to stay in the same monetary area since the monetary union is not an inevitable fate, if we make wrong choices, at some point it can disintegrate,” according an audio recording of the speech available on the Radio Radicale station’s website. His comments were previously posted on Twitter by the institute’s head Alberto Mingardi.

“No, not all,” Fassina, 46, a former International Monetary Fund economist, said today when asked whether he questioned the irreversibility of the euro.

Italy will guarantee stability and commitment to budget rigor should the center-left bloc headed by Bersani win the Feb. 24-25 elections, Bersani said today in a speech at a conference in Berlin.

Opinion polls show that the coalition led by Bersani’s Democratic Party may fall short in one of the Parliament’s two houses. That would probably force Bersani to seek a deal with the bloc headed by caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti. Still, such a move risks straining ties with the Democratic Party’s main ally, Nichi Vendola, head of the Left Ecology Freedom party, who has called for reversing some of Monti’s austerity policies.

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