No 'Italexit' from euro, says Italian PM

Rome, June 18 (IANS/AKI) Italy one of the staunchest believers in Europe and its exit from the single European currency is out of the question, Italy's populist Premier Giuseppe Conte said 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 sent to 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, adding that if the bloc fails to do so, Europe will be seen by its citizens as "techno-bureaucratic and remote".

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