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Monti: No one can beat crisis alone

No European nation is strong enough to ride out the continent's debt crisis alone, Italy's new premier insisted, urging fellow European Union members to develop a common growth policy.

Mario Monti, an economist who was appointed leader of the eurozone's third-largest economy in November with a mandate to pull Italy back from the brink of financial disaster, said: "Italy, in order to develop economically and socially, needs Europe, and Europe to be stronger needs Italy."

Mr Monti's comments came at a ceremony honouring the Italian flag in the northern city of Reggio Emilia.

"No European country is so strong that it can go forward alone in facing the great global economies," the former EU commissioner said. "Europe needs to put into action common and co-ordinated growth policies on financial stability."

With Italy making what he called a "decisive contribution" to eurozone stability, "now it's the time for everyone to do their homework. No one can think they can do less than the others. Europe will overcome the crisis only with the determined and united action of all members".

He did not single out any country, but some critics have felt that Germany has been putting its own economic policy ahead of EU-wide interests. Mr Monti will meet German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday and at a major European summit in Brussels at the end of the month.

EU leaders at that summit will be wrestling with a worsening economic outlook as more European nations tip over into recession, scepticism keeps rising over many EU countries' bonds and the survival of the euro remains in doubt.

"The eurozone must continue to represent an anchor and a secure reference point in all its geographic extensions," Mr Monti said.

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