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Bank of Italy plays down talk of early Visco exit

Bank of Italy head could leave post early - paper
Bank of Italy head could leave post early - paper Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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ROME -The Bank of Italy sought to douse talk that its governor Ignazio Visco could leave his post ahead of schedule in October after a newspaper report on Tuesday raised the prospect of a succession before the next general election.

Daily Il Foglio said that Visco could step down a year early and allow the current government, led by former European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi, to appoint a high profile executive, such as ECB board member Fabio Panetta to the post.

The resignation of the governor of the Bank of Italy is not on the table, a spokesperson for the central bank said on Tuesday, in response to the report.

Italy is due to hold a general election in the first half of next year.

Il Foglio said a change at the central bank would be part of a broader plan by Draghi to "introduce as many useful bolts as possible into the mechanisms of the country" to counterbalance the influence of any populist movements after the vote.

The plan would also include the appointment of the heads of the Tax Revenue agency and of state-controlled companies such as oil and gas group Eni, defence company Leonardo and energy group Enel.

The mandate of Visco, who has been leading the Bank of Italy since 2011, would naturally end in October 2023.

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