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In Italy, Glass-Steagall
Takes to the Streets

April 4, 2012 (EIRNS)—The campaign for a Glass-Steagall-style reform of the banking system growing in Italy. Two months after the introduction into the Italian Senate of a bill by Sen. Oskar Peterlini, the largest opposition party, Lega Nord (Northern League), has announced a mobilization to collect signatures for the presentation of a bill into the Chamber of Deputies, using the "popular initiative" system, which obliges the Parliament to consider proposals signed by at least 50,000 citizens.

The public campaign by the Lega precedes a bill that is expected to be introduced in the Chamber shortly, according to the normal procedure. EIR has learned that the initiative will involve leading political figures from other political parties, and be based in part on the Peterlini bill before the Senate, which was prepared in collaboration with Movisol, the LaRouche movement in Italy.

On April 1, Lega Nord leader Umberto Bossi announced the campaign during a public event: "We need to split up the banks," he said, "those that speculate from those that give money to enterprises." The introduction to the popular initiative states that "It is time to set a limit to the excessive power of finance. This means that it is only the state that issues money in the name of the people. It means that credit is for development and not for speculation. It means separating the wheat from the chaff; what is productive from what is speculative, as was done for centuries." Finance is identified as an "infection" that is out of control, and must be placed into an orderly reorganization procedure, to allow for "large-scale public investment for the industrial economy and manufacturing, and for infrastructure."

Insisting that taxpayers should not bailout speculators, the text says that

"A gambler cannot simply leave the table and have someone else take his place to pay for his losses. The one who loses a bet must be forced to pay!"

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