Italy keen to push European project bonds

Pier Carlo Padoan at the Lisbon Council, 20 April 2011 [Photo: Lisbon Council / Flickr]
Pier Carlo Padoan at the Lisbon Council. 20 April, 2011 [Lisbon Council / Flickr]

Italy, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, is keen to re-launch debate on long-term "project bonds" to finance infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told French business daily Les Echos.

"In all European countries, we have seen a constant decline in [infrastructure] investment, both in the public and private sector. We must reverse that trend," Padoan said in an interview published on Monday (7 July).

Padoan also said Rome could back moves to create an EU-wide unemployment insurance mechanism as a way of bolstering European monetary union, saying such a measure could help support the economy at the bottom of the downturn.

However he played down any prospect of new talks on so-called "eurobonds" instruments intended to mutualise debt at European-level, saying "from a political point of view I don't think we are there at the moment".

A large offshore submarine gas storage facility in Spain was the first in Europe to issue ‘project bonds’ for a total of €1.4 billion, three years after the idea was launched by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in 2010.

However, the project named Castor, was halted last November after more than 200 minor earthquakes were detected near the area.

>> Read: First EU ‘project bond’ in Spain halted

Two other 'project bonds' were issued since then, with funding from the EU or the European Investment Bank (EIB): the Greater Gabbard Offshore Transmission network project in the United Kingdom and the A11 motorway in Belgium.

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Eurochild's picture

They remind me more and more of Hollande's government when it was first elected.

But, att least Hollande's government was elected!

A Londoner's picture

Would you explain the second sentence please. I assume that Mr Renzi's government has the support of the elected Parliament. Non capisco!

Emanuele's picture

I don't think you will ever receive a logical explanation. It sounds like the usual non-sense coming from a very specific part of the Italian electorate :)

Eurochild's picture

Ok, I should have been more specific for those who have problems understanding basic ideas and said at least President Hollande was actually elected to his position, whereas Mr Renzi is in the unusual position of not actually having been elected to the legislature of his country. I believe he is the only head of government in the EU of whom this is the case.

Since he likes to boast about his election victory it is apropos to recall that he has not actually won a national election.

I presume you understand what I mean by the comparison to Mr Hollande.

an european's picture

The bonds are really effective but why now ?
However we could still wait two years later before implementing it!
Let depth go shrink a little bit first !

However bonds could be taxed for a federal E.U. Budget or not!