Rome

Italy should keep 'bazooka' ready says OECD

'Stay on alert' against euro crisis says Gurria

Italy should keep 'bazooka' ready says OECD

Rome, November 5 - Italy has done well to ease its borrowing costs but should still keep the "bazooka" of European aid ready in its battle against the euro crisis, the head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Monday. "Italy has to stay on market alert with the bazooka of European Union and European Central Bank help loaded and set to be triggered when needed," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria told ANSA. Premier Mario Monti is loth to access the ECB's bond-buying programme, unless the spread between Italian and German bonds rises dangerously again, because it would come with stiff reform and oversight conditions. Gurria added that cutting taxes on firms and workers, currently being discussed in the 2013 budget as long as the bottom line is met, would be "positive". He also said Italy's fight against corruption, beefed up last week with the approval of an anti-corruption law, was welcome. "For its part, Europe must accelerate efforts against the (euro) crisis," Gurria said. "If Spain were to ask for a bailout and ECB bond-buying," he said, "it would be an acceptable and very important decision".

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