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Bank of Italy Governor and ECB governing council member Ignazio Visco was out on the wires in the last hour, commenting on Italy’s debt situation and said:

   “¢   Italy cannot narrow the growth gap with EU with higher spending.
   “¢   Italy’s slow growth caused by companies’ low productivity.
   “¢   Economic slowdown more marked than the rest of the EU.
   “¢   Policies guaranteeing balanced financial conditions are needed to protect savings.
   “¢   Foreign investors sold 82 billion Euros in sovereign bonds in the May-August period.
   “¢   Widening of Italy/Germany spread reflects the risk of default and redenomination in equal measures.
   “¢   Spreads impacted by doubts about Italy’s policies, EU relations.
   “¢   If the rise in Italian state bonds is not reabsorbed it will cost over 5 billion Euros in 2019.  
   “¢   The rise in funding costs and depreciation of banking shares will make access to credit harder for families and companies.
   “¢   Italian debt is sustainable but the determination to keep it such must be clear.
   “¢   GDP growth this year will be 1%, lower in 2019, without taking into account budget measures.
   “¢   Italy can cope with the end of low interest rates, provided it sticks to the fiscal policy aimed at budgetary stability.
   “¢   Italy must sell in 2019 400 billion Euros in state securities to refinance maturing debt and cover year’s deficit.