BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's finance ministry expressed concern on Wednesday about Italian plans to rescue the country's third biggest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena <BMPS.MI>, saying Rome must stick to European rules.
"The European Central Bank and European Commission must check and make sure that Italian authorities stick to the European rules," a ministry spokesman told Reuters when asked about Monte dei Paschi.
He also said a precautionary state recapitalization of banks can only be part of a solution in exceptional cases and under strict conditions and that owners and creditors must be among the first to suffer losses. The bank must be solvent, he added and state money must not be used to cover losses.
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"These rules must not be circumvented," the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers)