No pleas from Italy: IMF

ITALY and Spain have not asked the International Monetary Fund for any funding despite fears they will need help beyond a European rescue scheme, its boss Christine Lagarde said last night.

She called for a swift solution to the crisis and said the IMF can make loans only when governments ask for them, as happened with Portugal, Ireland and Greece.

“The IMF has not received any request for assistance from, nor are we negotiating with, either Italy or Spain,” she said after a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.

“We have offered our assistance for fiscal monitoring in Italy,” she said.

Lagarde spoke out after reports the IMF is planning a €600bn (£515bn) package to help Italy and a credit deal for Spain. A handout from the IMF would expose British taxpayers to losses if the recipients could not pay back their loans.