Italian news agencies say government ministers have approved an emergency decree for an initial 5.5 billion euro ($7 billion) rescue loan for debt-ridden Greece.
The ministers on Friday approved the emergency measure to "safeguard the financial stability of the eurozone," Italian newswire ANSA quoted the decree as saying. The first tranche is more than a third of Italy's share of 14.7 billion euros.
Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti told parliament on Thursday that the measure will not affect Italy's deficit, because it is a loan, but rather its debt.
Italian officials have been staving off concerns of contagion from the Greek crisis, emphasizing that the Italian banking system is robust, that overall debt is low and savings are high.
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