May 17, 2018 / 12:46 PM / a year ago

Not possible to exclude Italian bonds held by ECB from Italian debt -Eurostat

BRUSSELS, May 17 (Reuters) - The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat cannot exclude Italian bonds held by the European Central Bank from its calculations of Italian public debt, a Eurostat spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman was responding to plans by the emerging ruling coalition in Italy to ask that Italian debt held by the ECB as a result of its bond-buying programme be excluded from the overall calculations, which would cut the debt to around 120 percent of Italian GDP from around 130 percent now.

Asked if such an exclusion was possible, Eurostat spokesman Tim Allen said: “The answer is ‘No’,”. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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