The Italian deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, has threatened to sue Jean-Claude Juncker for damages, accusing the EU president of pushing up Rome’s cost of borrowing by likening Italy to Greece.
Salvini, who is also Italy’s interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, was speaking after Juncker’s comments helped send the yield on Italian benchmark bonds to a four-and-a-half year high of 3.4%, while shares in Italian banks plunged.
He said: “The European commission president Juncker, by equating Italy with Greece, sends the spread [gap] crazy. He could have spared us that.”
Salvini added: “He should drink two glasses of water before opening his mouth, and stop spreading non-existent threats. Or we’ll ask him for damages.”