The reform package is on the agenda of a meeting of the Eurogroup, the panel of eurozone finance ministers.
Speaking in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, “if you give me a proposal on the banking union which Italy does not like, I will not sign up to the ESM (European Stability Mechanism).
“It’s not blackmail, it is a package approach, putting everything on the table. You can bet that they won’t fool us.’’
The Eurogroup is due to discuss long-delayed plans for a European deposit insurance scheme, seen as a crucial step towards banking union, and one of several reforms deemed necessary in the wake of the euro crisis.
Germany and others say the scheme can progress only if banks’ exposure to sovereign bonds is risk-weighted.
This is anathema for Italy, whose banks hold large amounts of its high public debt.
Conte is under domestic pressure to talk tough with euro partners.
Far-right opposition leader Matteo Salvini has accused him of high treason for the proposed ESM changes, which, he claims controversially, could edge Italy toward financial ruin.
Most economists dispute those claims, but the main ruling party, the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), partly shares opposition concerns.
The M5S and the League used to govern together, with Conte as premier, until August.
(Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)
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