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Italy Min denies ex-wife's Finmeccanica consultancy deal

ROME, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli on Tuesday dismissed media speculation that defence group Finmeccanica had ordered false consultancy services from his ex wife, after one newspaper said he should dispel doubts over the reported deal.

"There were never any consultancy services contracted on the part of Finmeccanica," Grilli said in a letter to Il Sole 24 Ore after the financial daily called for a clarification in an editorial published on Tuesday.

Finmeccanica's chief executive Giuseppe Orsi had denied similar reports last month.

Grilli also denied media reports regarding a wiretapped conversation he had with banker Massimo Ponzellini, former chairman of Banca Popolare di Milano who is under house arrest and faces accusations of corruption.

The reports suggested Grilli has asked the banker to use his influence to help garner support for Grilli's possible nomination for Bank of Italy governor in 2011. The minister said the conversation had been just an informal, friendly chat.

"Any insinuation or other interpretation can be considered false," he said.

Ignazio Visco was chosen to lead the Bank of Italy in October 2011, succeeding Mario Draghi, who then took over as president of the European Central Bank. Grilli said in his letter that he had been satisfied with Visco's nomination.

He added that he had accepted the position of Economy Minister in Mario Monti's technocrat government "only in the spirit of service to the country, not to feed any political ambition".

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Michael Roddy)

((catherine.hornby@thomsonreuters.com)(+ 39 0685 224 394, Twitter: @catherinehornby)(Reuters Messaging: catherine.hornby.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: ITALY MINISTER/