Rome

Rome dismisses Schaeuble's warning of Cyprus contagion

Industry minister says island not big enough to hit Italy

Rome dismisses Schaeuble's warning of Cyprus contagion

Rome, April 18 - Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera on Thursday dismissed German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's warning that insolvency in Cyprus could cause problems for larger European countries exposed to the eurozone crisis like Italy and Spain. ''No, no. Let's give a sense of proportion to things. We have already let ourselves get put in a corner by a country that represents 2% of Europe's (GDP) and we managed to make a devil of a mess dinner by not facing it in the right way at the right time,'' Passera said on Italian radio, referring to Greece. ''Let's not repeat (the mistake) now with a micro-problem like Cyprus. ''I believe that the first condition for assuring growth is to not have a country or a business that blows up or is at risk of blowing up. ''The prerequisite for growth has to be sustainable from the point of view of accounts, and this has been assured (for Italy)''. Earlier on Thursday Schaeuble had told the German parliament that, ''Insolvency for Cyprus would also put countries like Spain and Italy at risk. The ECB (European Central Bank), the European Commission and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have maintained that the fate of Nicosia is relevant for the eurozone''.

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