Tuesday 6 December 2016

David McWilliams: ECB has until Christmas to save monetary union

Published 09/11/2011 | 17:00

THE crisis has now moved to Italy. Italy is no Ireland, no Greece and no Portugal. It is the EU's fourth-largest economy and the eighth-largest in the world. Its bond market is the third-largest in the global financial markets. It is far too big to bail out.

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The total size of the Italian government debt is €1,900bn. One quarter of this falls due over the next few years.

Italian yields are heading towards 7pc and this would mean that Italy would pay 5pc more for money than Germany. No monetary union can survive such a differential and narrowing the differential was one of the main selling points of the monetary union in the first place.

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