Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday urged the eurozone to adopt 'coronabonds' to help members of the currency bloc handle the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The European Stability Mechanism is not the way to go because it will only create new levels of debt," Di Maio told Il Corriere della Sera daily in an interview.
"We need a paradigm shift that enables European resources to be freed up and the role of the European Central Bank in giving states financial support to be strengthened," Di Maio went on.
Rather than 'eurobonds' - countries need a tool to fund their "extraordinary expenditure" on the Covid-19 emergency, Di Maio said.
"We were among the first states to ask for this," he said, referring to a letter sent to European Council president Charles Michel this week by Italy and eight other eurozone countries.
The letter called for the issuance of joint European debt to finance the fight against coronavirus and mitigate the economic destruction caused by Covid-19. However, Germany and other eurozone states including the Netherlands are wary of mutualised debt issuance by eurozone governments, which they say resurrects the discarded 'eurobond' concept.
Eurozone finance ministers were on Tuesday unable to agree a firm plan for the ESM - the bloc’s bailout fund - to issue credit lines to help tackle the crisis, with many details still to be worked out.