Italy's Monti urges for swift agreement on EU banking supervision

Italy's Monti urges for swift agreement on EU banking supervision

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Thursday urged fellow European leaders to swiftly implement a central eurozone banking supervisor, enabling direct cash injections for the bloc's ailing banks, DPA reported.

He called on the heads of state and government attending next week's European Union summit to prepare for the supervisor to be in place by the end of the year - a timetable many consider to be highly ambitious.

"I believe that the October European Council should reach a political agreement on the main features of a single supervisory mechanism, paving the way for a final adoption by the end of the year," Monti said, according to the transcript of a speech delivered at a think-tank event in Brussels.

The central banking supervisor has been set as a necessary precondition for the eurozone's permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to directly disburse money to troubled banks, such as those in Spain.

Currently, the ESM can only loan to governments, placing a higher debt burden on their books.

Monti said that enabling the ESM to directly help banks "is important to separate existing and future banking and sovereign liabilities."

Italy's technocratic premier called for agreement "on common rules on banking deposits and on the resolution of banking crises."

Together with the establishment of a banking supervisor, these steps are considered important milestones on the route to a European Banking Union.

"I think that the quality of the decisions taken in this area at the October European Council will be the litmus test of the EU ability to deliver on the commitments taken," Monti said.

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