German think tank: Italy risks quitting eurozone

Communist-turned-populist Beppe Grillo hopes to leverage Italy's banking crisis to take the country out of the eurozone, and, if possible, the EU. [Giovanni Favia/Flickr]

The head of Germany’s Ifo economic institute believes Italians will eventually want to quit the euro currency area if their standard of living does not improve, he told German daily Tagesspiegel (1 January).

“The standard of living in Italy is at the same level as in 2000. If that does not change, the Italians will at some stage say: ‘We don’t want this eurozone anymore’,” Ifo chief Clemens Fuest told the newspaper.

Italian government approves decree to rescue Monte dei Paschi

The Italian government approved a decree early on Friday (23 December) that will open the way for the rescue of Monte dei Paschi di Siena after the world’s oldest bank failed to win backing from investors for a vital capital increase.

He also said that if Germany’s parliament were to approve a European rescue programme for Italy, it would impose on German taxpayers risks “the size of which it does not know and cannot control”. He said German lawmakers should not agree to do this.

Italy is not seeking such a rescue programme. The government in Rome is focusing on underwriting the stability of its banking sector, starting with a bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

JPMorgan Chase planned to buy Italy's troubled Monte Paschi

JPMorgan Chase wanted to buy troubled Italian rival BMPS but abandoned the plan over fears it would be vetoed by US regulators and opposed in Italy, people close to the deal told AFP on Wednesday (3 July).

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