'Inappropriate Statement' by Austria Finance Minister Spells Trouble for Italy

June 12, 2012 2:25 PM EDT
Austria's finance minister, Maria Fekter, stirred the pot in Europe Tuesday when she said Italy may need a financial rescue because of its high borrowing costs. With the economic crisis playing duck-duck-goose, her statements magnified investors' fears regarding the situation in Europe. It's certainly no secret Italy is up next.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said her remarks were "completely inappropriate," while euro zone officials said they were deeply unhelpful.

The Austrian minister has a track record for speaking out of turn. According to reports out of Reuter, she angered EU officials in Germany last month by suggesting Greece might be forced out of the European Union. And she infuriated Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker in March when she rushed out of a meeting to give a press statement before a deal to create an EU firewall was official.

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