Monti: Italy not asking to be rescued

Associated Press
Italian Premier Mario Monti, right, flanked by Enrico Bondi gestures during a meeting to outline details on the spending review in Rome, Tuesday, July 3, 2012. Bondi has the task of deciding what cuts are carried out in which ministries. Bondi is the Italian turnaround expert who helped restructure the Parmalat dairy empire after its collapse in fraudulent bankruptcy last decade. (AP Photo/Roberto Monaldo, Lapresse)

BERLIN (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Monti says it's important for his country to be able to borrow more cheaply but is stressing that it is not asking to be rescued.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Monti in Rome Wednesday. Last week, EU leaders agreed in principle to allow Europe's bailout fund to buy bonds on the secondary market to drive down countries' borrowing costs if they comply with EU economic recommendations. The decision was viewed by many as a major climbdown by Merkel.

Monti was quoted as telling German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "If the interest rates don't sink and the economy doesn't grow again, the forces in Italy that are against Europe and against budget discipline will grow."

He stressed Italy isn't asking for a rescue or for jointly issued eurobonds.