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Italian Chamber of Deputies Sets Up Investigating Committee on the Banking Crisis with Broad Powers

June 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Chamber of Deputies voted unanimously, with three abstentions, to create an investigating committee on the banking crisis June 21. The mandate is broad, and apparently the committee will have judiciary powers. However, in the best case it will have eight months to work, or, in the worst case, much less if early elections are called. The members and the chairman of the committee must now be elected.

In the debate, M5S party spokesman Alessio Villarosa welcomed the decision, even if very late. Villarosa said he is confident that the Committee will be able to find out the truth about banks’ scams to dump their losses on depositors, through the sale of subordinate bonds. He cited the example of Banca Etruria, which started to sell those bonds to retail customers after receiving a letter from the Bank of Italy in December 2013, saying that the bank situation was "irreversibly degraded." The Bank of Italy, the Stock Exchange Supervisor, and the government covered that scam, Villarosa said. Those customers were burnt through the "burden sharing" solution implemented by the government in 2015. Banca Etruria’s vice-president was the father of cabinet minister Maria Elena Boschi, who drafted the failed constitutional reform for then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

In a radio talk show with Dep. Renato Brunetta, head of the Forza Italia faction in the Chamber, the issue was discussed on June 21. Lyndon LaRouche activist Flavio Tabanelli called in and asked whether the Committee will have broad powers and will be able to do what the Pecora Commission did in the United States in 1932-34, paving the way for the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act to separate speculative banking from business banking. Brunetta replied that the Committee will have judiciary powers, but did not respond on Glass-Steagall.