Milan, November 21 - European markets ended Wednesday mostly flat after eurozone finance officials meeting in Brussels again failed to find a deal to help Greece come through its debt crisis and as US markets were thin ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. Greece now has to wait longer to get a long-withheld tranche of aid of nearly 32 billion euros, without which it faces the prospect of a possible default and exit from the euro. Some form of a deal had been expected by Wednesday after ministers met for 11 hours late Tuesday. According to an official statement at the end of the talks, finance ministers and officials "made progress in identifying a consistent package of credible initiatives," with Greece having completed all the work on its end. Milan's FTSE MIB ended the day up 0.82% at 15,394.6, boosted by banks like BPM, up 2.88%, and Intesa Sanpaolo, up 2.05%, as well as Mediaset, up 1.96%, and publishing group RCS up 2.6%. In other European markets, London's FTSE 100 closed up 0.07% at 5,752.03, Paris's CAC 40 edged up 0.44% to 3,477.36, Frankfurt's DAX closed flat at 7,184.71 and Madrid's IBEX 35 edged up 0.34% to 7,805.40. The spread between 10-year Italian government paper and its German equivalent closed at 341 basis points, slightly lower than Tuesday's 343-point difference with Italian debt yielding 4.84%. The spread is an important indicator of investor confidence in Italy's ability to weather the euro crisis.
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di Giovanni Pastore