Italian banks do not need a European Union bailout to boost their capital base, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Tuesday.

Saccomanni was asked by reporters to comment on a statement by former European Central Bank board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, who told Reuters on Monday Rome should ask for international financial aid to reform its lenders and its economy.

"Italian banks do no need the ESM (European Stability Mechanism)," Saccomanni said.

(Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by)