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Italy looks to foreign support if speculators attack

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Matteo Salvini made the comment as Economy Minister Giovanni Tria visited Beijing to deepen investment ties with China, a major holder of euro zone bonds, and as volatile Italian sovereign bond yields moved back towards three-month highs.

[BEIJING] Italy is counting on the support of foreign states outside the European Union to support it in the event of Italian markets coming under speculative attack, its deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

Matteo Salvini made the comment as Economy Minister Giovanni Tria visited Beijing to deepen investment ties with China, a major holder of euro zone bonds, and as volatile Italian sovereign bond yields moved back towards three-month highs.

Mr Salvini told reporters in Milan that Tria's visit to China was part of the new anti-establishment government's push to deepen friendships with nations outside the European Union. Others included the United States and Russia, he added.

"It is the first of a long series of missions to cement solid economic, commercial, financial ties between Italy and China," Mr Salvini said. "If someone were to plan to speculate on the backs of Italians, we will count on having support from outside the European Union."

Earlier, Mr Tria told reporters in Beijing that the Chinese government had no concerns about a recent widening of yield spreads on Italian state debt.

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Italy has the largest debt burden of major euro zone nations and has suffered recent speculative attacks on its bonds, inflating the yield difference with German debt, seen as safer. 

REUTERS

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