Italy backs EU 'super finance minister', EU bonds

(ANSA) - Rome, February 22 -  The Italian government has given its backing to the creation of a finance 'super minister' for the eurozone with the power to manage an adequate budget, according to its EU position paper Monday.

The document also moots the ideas of transforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a "European Monetary Fund", and calls for "a joint, shared policy" to deal with the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis and joint management of external EU borders to be financed by issuing EU bonds, according to the paper titled Italy's Strategic Proposal for the Future of the European Union: Growth, Jobs, and Stability.

The Schengen Agreement "is one of the most important results achieved" in the process of European integration and "must be preserved and strengthened", the paper said.

On the economic front, Italy called for any budget leeway to be "integrally used to support growth" during the current phase of modest recovery and exceptionally low inflation. The European Central Bank's monetary expansion policies have proven "insufficient" to kickstart and ensure proper economy recovery, the Italy paper said.

Accordingly, the EU should promote budget policies that foster growth, reforms, and job creation. "Economic union is a multi-dimensional project...which should go hand in hand with measures for growth and employment," according to the position paper.

"This would prove to citizens that Europe is the solution not the problem" in the face of a rising tide of populism in almost every member State, the position paper said.
   

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