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Italian Bank Governor before court in Rome

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Italian Bank Governor before court in Rome

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Bank of Italy Govenor Antonio Fazio has faced a court in Rome on questions of abuse of office. Fazio was placed under official investigation in August when he was accused of giving preference to Banca Popolare Italiana over Dutch competitor ABN AMRO in a bid by the two companies for control of the domestic lender Antonveneta.

Under Italian law, being placed under investigation does not necessarily mean that charges will be brought against him. Fazio has been in the spotlight since July when wired telephone calls leaked to the press demonstrated the warm relationship between him and the former boss of the Banca Popolare Italiana. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and several government ministers have urged Fazio to quit but so far the central banker, who does not report to the government, has resisted.