Bank Foundations: An Attack Fought Off?

in Italian Politics
Author: Renzo Costi
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The year 2002 will remain an important year in the continuing story

of Italian bank foundations, non-profit-making institutions that dispose

of considerable assets and that continue to play an important

role in the Italian financial world. The 2002 Finance Act (law no. 448

of 28 December 2001), which came into force on 1 January of that

same year, aimed to change the nature of these bodies, entrusting

control over them to the political sphere, while at the same time

postponing the moment when the foundations were to divest themselves

of control by the banks. The same year saw a series of strong

political clashes over these new regulations. The government introduced

measures that were heavily criticized by the Council of State

and were then appealed against before judicial authorities, which

partially suspended the efficacy of the said measures. Finally, the

new regulations, which were suspected of being anti-constitutional,

have now been submitted to the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

The new finance act, which came into force on 1 January 2003, has

also modified certain sections of the regulations introduced by the

2002 Finance Act.