Rehn's office says EC has confidence in Monti's debt plan

Italy set to give back 40 bn euros owed to business

Rehn's office says EC has confidence in Monti's debt plan

Brussels, April 4 - The European Commission has confidence in outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti's debt repayment plan, a spokesman said Thursday. European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn reaffirmed the EC's trust in the ability of the Italian authorities to handle the matter "with urgency" while also meeting Italy's commitments, spokesman Olivier Bailly said in a statement. That came one day after Monti reassured Rehn that Italy will honour its budget commitments under the European Union's Stability and Growth Pact. Monti told Rehn that Italy's plan to pay 40 billion euros of public-sector debt to private firms will not affect its commitment to keeping its deficit under the threshold of 3% of GDP, Bailly said after the pair spoke by telephone. Monti is expected to present a debt pay-back plan no later than Monday for cabinet's approval. Bailly said in Thursday's statement that the EC "supports fully the rapid reduction of commercial debt that is weighing on Italian companies". He added: "Monti is working to develop the right balance and, as we understood, will present the decree shortly".

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