Italy’s Economy Minister Domenico Siniscalco has resigned from the government. His move apparently came after he failed to force out the governor of the central bank, Antonio Fazio, who had become embroiled in a takeover scandal.
Siniscalco is the second economy minister to resign from Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet.
Italian media has greeted the latest departure with predictions that the government is all but finished, eight months before an expected general election.
Fazio has been accused of favouring Italian banks over foreign ones in recent takeover battles.
Dutch bank ABN Amro and Banca Popolare Italiana have been fighting to win control of Italy’s Antonveneta bank.
A phone tap suggested that Fazio favoured an all-Italian deal and used his influence to freeze out ABN.
However it looks as though the Dutch will finally win as BPI is on the verge of agreeing to sell its nearly 30 per cent stake in Antonveneta to ABN.