Italy considering compensation claim against EU over bank rescue -Conte
BRUSSELS, March 22 (Reuters) - Italy is considering
compensation claims against the European Commission for the
strict interpretation it gave to EU banking rules, the Italian
prime minister said on Friday, after a landmark EU ruling this
week over a bank rescue.
On Tuesday the EU general court overturned Brussels'
decision to block a 2014 rescue plan of small Italian lender
Tercas, prompting compensation calls from Italian banks which
argued that subsequent banking rescues in Italy were more costly
because of the Commission's strict position.
"We have to draw political and juridical conclusions,
including about a compensation plan," Prime Minister Giuseppe
Conte told reporters after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.
Earlier this week Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero
Milanesi had also flagged the possibility of a legal action
Conte backed Moavero's comments but called for a cautious
approach as the EU Commission could also appeal the ruling, he
Conte, whose eurosceptic government has used public funds to
help Italy's ailing Carige bank and has not ruled out
further support, said the Tercas ruling "set a precedent" which
could enable a less strict application of EU banking rules.
The European Commission has said it is assessing the
judgment and its consequences on future interventions.
Seven banks have been rescued in Italy since the Tercas
case, including Banca Monte dei Paschi, the world's oldest
lender still in operation, and a smaller bank in Tuscany whose
collapse and the subsequent wipeout of its creditors triggered
the suicide of one of them.
The Tercas rescue was orchestrated by Italy's deposit
guarantee fund, which Brussels said could not be used for
measures other than its core function of paying back savers hit
by a bank failure.
The EU court ruling, labelled "historic" by EU lawmakers,
effectively dismissed the Commission's argument.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio
Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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