After arguing for months that Banca Poolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca needed a ‘precautionary recapitalization”, meaning that they were fundamentally “sound” banks that needed additional support, the Gentiloni-Padoan government suddenly changed its rout, declaring them bankrupt and putting them into liquidation.
The Council of Ministers thus approved a legislative decree providing for the acquisition by Intesa Sanpaolo – at the price of €1 – of the two Veneto banks and Premier Gentiloni immediately launched a heartfelt appeal for “Parliament to support this very important decision as it deserves, that is, as broad as possible.”
Meanwhile, Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo praised himself for having “safeguarded more than 50 billion in savings entrusted to two banks and protected 2 million customers, including 200,000 companies operating in the most dynamic areas of the country”. He did not leave out repeated promises on protecting jobs.
Could the generous support of the European Union miss? Of course not: the sudden federalist Margarethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, considers the State aid as “necessary to avoid economic tensions in the Veneto region.” Two banks in serious financial difficulties, a banking giant absorbs them, the Italian and European institutions agree: what is the problem?
Just one: the community pays the bill, we pay all of it.