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Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio Pushes Glass-Steagall on Major TV Talk Show

Jan. 18, 2019 (EIRNS)—Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio pushed Glass-Steagall on the popular “Porta a Porta” TV talk-show yesterday. Di Maio was interviewed to explain the measures the government finally approved yesterday concerning basic income and pensions. Following a long explanation on how those social measures will work starting in April, Di Maio was asked about the newest conflict with the EU institutions on banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs). “To demand that NPLs should be fully reset within 2026 means to tell Italy, which has one-third of all NPLs, ‘close your banks,’ ” was his answer.

“Before intervening in Monte dei Paschi we must do three things,” he continued.

“First, a rule that separates speculative banks from commercial banks, from those banks that make loans to the real economy ... I mean, between banks that gamble on the stock market and banks that use our deposits to lend to the real economy. It is called ‘Glass-Steagall Act’ [in English] and we must do it as soon as possible.”

The host asked, do you want to go back to the old Banking Law, referring to the 1936 Banking Act that was repealed in 1995 by Draghi-Amato.

“I believe that Italy demonstrates that going back to good old practices of our fathers and grandfathers is not always a bad habit or a wrong thing. And in fact, many countries are going back into that direction. England, for instance, has started a process in the last years. It is a slow process,”

Di Maio said, showing a bit of confusion.

The third thing, Di Maio said, is a “Public Bank for Investments.” “The year 2019 must be the year when the Public Investment Bank, to help for investments and support firms, is created” as promised in the government coalition contract.

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