Matteo Salvini has increased his hostility towards Brussels by calling Jean-Claude Juncker and Pierre Moscovici “enemies of Europe”. Italy’s joint deputy Prime Minister made the comments as Italian bonds are sliding once again, dragging on the price of stock markets across Europe.
Italy’s borrowing costs have risen to a four-year high and markets are on alert as Italy and Brussels continue their stand-off over the Italian budget. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Salvini also criticised market speculators whom he blamed for seeking the failure of countries who step out of line with Europe’s goals.
Salvini commented, “We are against the enemies of Europe — Juncker and Moscovici — shut away in the Brussels bunker. The politics of austerity of the last few years have increased Italian debt and impoverished Italy.”
Speaking of the bond market spreads, Salvini added, “If I wanted to think badly I would say that behind the spread of recent days is a move by speculators… who are aiming for the failure of a country, to buy its remaining healthy businesses at a bargain price,” he said. “On behalf of the government, I say we are not going back.”
Salvini’s hard-line comments have markets concerned about Italian yields and the threat of a Greece-like contagion across the continent.