The head of the Bank of Italy has been forced to leave a World Bank meeting in Washington and return to Rome. Antonio Fazio took a flight back to the Italian capital on Sunday. The banker’s longstanding adversary, economy minister Giulio Tremonti, was behind the decision. Fazio has been under increasing pressure to step down over accusations he favoured an Italian bank in a cross-border takeover bid.
An Italian ministry official was named to lead Italian delegates at the meeting of financial leaders and private bankers in Washington. It was the first time since 1999 that Fazio had not led the team of delegates. Both Tremonti and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have demanded Fazio’s resignation amid a week of turmoil in the Italian government.