Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Charged, at last?

While speaking at a conference in Paris, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy, mentioned that the yearly fees for an average account at an Italian bank are the highest in the world (at €252) and more than double the world average (which, excluding Japan, is €108). The Italian Banking Association's predictable rejection of these figures (which seem to be based on this Cap Gemini study) sounds rather dodgy. All I can say is that my personal experiences with banks in Italy have been infuriating compared to the excellent and cheap (at times even free) service I received in the US and in Belgium.
It is therefore a pleasure to learn that the person most responsible for this scandalous state of affairs - the governor of the Italian central bank, Antonio Fazio - seems to have been charged (I know, in Italy things are never clear) with abuse of office.
Antonio Fazio, the governor of the Bank of Italy, will be charged for alleged abuse of office by Rome-based public prosecutors in an investigation regarding a takeover battle for Banca Antonveneta SpA, the daily Il Corriere della Sera and other newspapers said.
It is too bad that the Italian judiciary, because of its notorious activism and politicization, does not have the credibility to actually solve this institutional crisis. However, I do hope it can give Fazio's credibility the fatal blow that will force him to resign.

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