Author: Bjarke Smith-Meyer
The euro is not at risk of falling apart following Italy’s vote to turn down proposals to reform the country’s constitution, eurozone finance ministers said Monday.
“There’s no systemic risk to the euro,” France’s Michel Sapin told journalists ahead of a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels. “The [Italian] referendum was a vote against the change in constitution, but Italians are still in favor the European Union.”
Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble agreed with Sapin’s opinion, insisting that “there is no need to discuss [the notion] of a eurozone crisis.”
Hans Jörg Schelling, Austria’s finance minister, also said that he “didn’t see [any crisis]” either.
The comments came in response to questions about the credibility of the eurozone, after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned his post last night in response the referendum result.
Renzi’s resignation also raised questions over the recapitalization plan of the country’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, whose shares were down 7 percent in early trading this morning before bouncing back.
But ministers remained bullish despite growing political uncertainty across Europe.
Sapin also expressed his confidence that finance ministers would reach an agreement over Greek debt relief measures, which the 19 eurozone finance minsters will discuss today.
“If Greece makes good on its commitments, then the EU has to make good on its commitments too,” he said.
But the German finance minister, meanwhile, was less forthcoming. “Greece needs to implement its reform and commitments, and that will be a long and difficult path,” Schäuble said.