Conte rules out an 'Italexit'

Conte rules out an 'Italexit'

Photo: AFP

Italy is a staunch believer in Europe and its exit from the single currency is out of the question, Italy's populist premier Giuseppe Conte claimed in an interview on Tuesday.

"The idea of leaving the euro has never been up for discussion," Conte told Naples-based online newspaper Fanpage during a visit to the southern Italian city.

"We are among the best pro-Europeans precisely because we keep the faith," he added.

Referring to a letter he is sending the European Commission in a bid to stave off a looming excessive deficit procedure that could cost Italian taxpayers billions of euros, Conte said the missive will underline "the value of politics".

The EU must not allow "finance to dominate" but must "bring back a high degree of politics to all its debates," Conte told Fanpage.

If the bloc fails to rise to this challenge, Europe will be seen by its citizens as "techno-bureaucratic and remote," Conte said.

The European Commission is demanding “substantial corrections” by Italy to rein in public spending and reduce its massive debt pile which currently tops 132 percent of the country's GDP - calls that were backed by an EU finance ministers meeting last Thursday.