ECB president waves off Italian market jitters

Many reforms on 'auto pilot' says Draghi

ECB president waves off Italian market jitters

Frankfurt, March 7 - Pointing to the hung Italian elections, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi on Wednesday waved away talk of market jitters and said many of Italy's fiscal reforms are set on auto pilot. However, "Italy, like other countries, must continue with structural reforms, the only way to restore growth and capitalize on the consolidation of financial results," Draghi said at his monthly news conference. On the possibility of ECB aid being extended to Italy, Draghi said that any country who seeks aid from its program OMT, known as Outright Monetary Transactions, must first agree to abide by strict policy conditions. Outgoing Premier Mario Monti has been hesitant to accept offers by the ECB to help prop up Italy's public finances by purchasing the state debt. Draghi said that the ECB's rules on how it deploys its bond-buying program "are what they are". "OMT remains, is in place and is a very effective backstop. But you know the rules," Draghi said. Draghi refused to comment on the possibility of an Italian referendum, proposed by anti-establishment leader Beppe Grillo, to exit from the eurozone. Photo: European Central Bank president Mario Draghi

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