Fekter Snubs Italy

German language media translated for TVR's Media Monitor

News | Vienna Review | July / August 2012

Italy might need financial support from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) due to high interest rates, Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter speculated in an interview on ORF television on 11 June. The news spread quickly all over Europe, once Reuters had disseminated the details, sparking a political row with Austria’s southern neighbour. A day later, Fekter retracted her previous comments, stating that there are no indications that Italy would in fact apply for EFSF-funding.

Euro Crisis: Silence Is Golden, 12 June

by Günther Oswald

Maria Fekter certainly is not trying to be a boring politician. She avoided questions as to under what conditions the electorate might vote on new crisis instruments; concerning the financial crises of Greece, Spain & co., however, the minister does not beat around the bush. She reckoned that Italy’s current struggle in combatting the heavy burden of high interest costs might require the Mediterranean country to file for financial support.

According to the financial figures, hardly any expert would disagree. However, as a minister she has to have a different appearance in public. She neither writes letters to the editor, nor is she an external commentator; but as a politician, she is part of the decision-making process, whose words have weight and are heard throughout Europe (even when voiced out of little Austria).

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