Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied as entirely baseless a report in the daily la Repubblica newspaper on Tuesday that he had held a special meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after last week's summit meeting of European Union leaders.

He also denied reports that he planned to dismiss Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, with whom he has had repeated disagreements in recent weeks.

La Repubblica reported that Berlusconi had said that he had held private meetings with Sarkozy and Merkel to create a common front to save the euro.

It also said he was counting on help from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, with whom he has good relations, to help Italy deal with the mounting market turmoil that has sent its bond yields to record levels.

Berlusconi also denied that report.