Italy's industry minister on Friday blasted the European Central Bank for not doing enough to lower his country's borrowing costs, even as the ECB was buying Italian government bonds.
The way in which the crisis has been managed in the last few months has been indubitably very dismaying, Corrado Passera said at a Paris conference, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
We still don't have an overall solution to the European financial crisis, adding that Europe needed a real central bank to better handle the stability and liquidity of the markets.
As Passera was speaking, the ECB's open-market traders were buying Italian 10-year bonds, a move designed to drive down the yield on that sovereign debt to sustainable levels. Earlier in the day, the yield on 10-year Italian government securities rose as high as 7.12 percent. A yield of 7 percent or more is considered a historically unsustainable benchmark.
Even more worrying than the rise past 7 percent, the spread between Italian bonds and Germany's benchmark 10-year notes -- considered the safest in Europe -- rose to 5.24 percent.
Passera's comment reflect views of many leaders in heavily indebted Eurozone countries who want the ECB to adopt a mandate to promote economic growth. The ECB's current mission only mentions price stability. Officials in many heavily indebted countries want the ECB to reduce their nation's debts by printing more euros and thus monetizing their debt away.
Germany's political establishment has been staunchly against such moves. France, Europe's second-largest economy, has sometimes -- but not always -- sided with Berlin, making France's leadership a wildcard.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was in Paris on Friday for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. French Primer Minister Francois Fillon was quoted by the ANSA news agency Friday saying the views of France and Italy are almost totally the same.