Italy minister says no pressure on ECB over bonds

Reuters

CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) - Italy is not putting pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to continue buying Italian government bonds on the market, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Sunday.

Frattini said both Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti had been in close contact with international financial institutions over the market turmoil which has hit Italy.

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"But the European Central Bank is an independent institution so there are no requests, pressures," on bond buying, he told reporters at the margins of a conference.

On Saturday, Frattini said he was confident the ECB would continue buying Italian bonds. The ECB began the intervention last month to try to hold down yields and stop Rome's borrowing costs spiraling out of control.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini)