Monti builds pressure on Merkozy talks

Tim Wallace
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ALL EUROZONE members must pull their weight, Italian PM Mario Monti said yesterday, insisting that Italy must not stand alone in implementing austerity measures to stabilise the euro.

His remarks came on the eve of the Franco-German summit in which his counterparts Sarkozy (pictured below) and Merkel will try to hammer out a unified position.

“Europe needs to put into action common and co-ordinated growth policies on financial stability,” he announced. Italy has made a “decisive contribution” to solving the crisis, and other countries must do the same, he said.

Monti also urged faster action on making the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund ready.

Meanwhile industry minister Corrado Passera told daily newspaper Corriere Della Sera that the government plans gradual liberalisations in sectors ranging from energy to professional services to revive the economy.

“We will proceed in every sector: gas, energy, commerce, transport, the professions. Each step will go towards creating sustainable growth,” he said.

Sarkozy and Merkel will visit Monti in Rome on 20 January before the finance ministers’ meetings on 23rd and 24th, and the EU leaders’ summit on 30 January.

“It is part of the European mindset at the moment to raise the stakes ahead of crucial negotiations, increasing the pressure on participants,” said Raoul Ruparel from Open Europe.

“However, it is also important to remember that as he is unelected, Monti constantly wants to remind the public of contributions he has made, otherwise he will lose his position.”