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Intesa CEO says Italy should reduce reliance on ECB to sustain debt

·1-min read

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy should not rely on the European Central Bank to finance its 2.7 trillion euro ($2.8 trillion) public debt and should use instead its high level of private savings and state assets to sustain it, the head of the country's biggest bank said on Wednesday.

"It makes no sense to me that we talk about energy independence and not of financial independence," Intesa CEO Carlo Messina told a student conference on financial education.

Messina said Italy needed to boost growth and adopt measures to cut its public debt so as not to have to rely on bond purchases by the ECB to keep debt costs in check.

"If I were in Germany I too would have some issues if I looked at Italy's 10 trillion euros of savings and you want the ECB to finance the debt. One must build one's destiny if one has the strength to do so and Italy does have such strength."

($1 = 0.9534 euros)

(Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Cristina Carlevaro)

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