As an Italian I am frankly embarassed. Is this any way to manage a modern, developed economy?
The Bank of Italy is also being probed by prosecutors in Rome over the procedures it followed in allowing Italiana to increase its stake in Antonveneta before the bank was required to declare a formal counter-offer. ABN Amro could hope the regulatory problems surrounding Italiana deepen before its rival's tender offer closes.
Antonveneta is also in turmoil following a court ruling that threw out a shareholder election that voted in a new board comprised entirely of Italiana nominees. A shareholder meeting scheduled for Monday - at which a new board was to have ben appointed - has been postponed until Wednesday.
That followed a ruling from Consob, the Italian market regulator, at the weekend to freeze voting rights attached to shares held by Italiana and Stefano Ricucci, a businessman, in relation to allegations over the manner in which they built stakes in Antonveneta.
The head of the Bank of Italy (Fazio) should resign for his shameful partisanship, his promotion of personal friends (for instance the CEO of Banca Popolare Italiana) and his failure to do his job, i.e. to further the interests of the average Italian bank customers, who pay the highest fees in the world.