Italy’s Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani wants substantial changes to a controversial levy on banks’ extra profits, according to several newspapers reports.
(Bloomberg) — Italy’s Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani wants substantial changes to a controversial levy on banks’ extra profits, according to several newspapers reports.
His junior coalition party Forza Italia, founded by former premier Silvio Berlusconi, has already prepared a number of proposals to tweak the windfall tax that will be discussed in parliament after the summer recess, Corriere della Sera and la Repubblica reported, citing conversations held with lawmakers.
Among the changes, Tajani will propose to cancel the levy for small lenders that aren’t supervised by the European Central Bank. His stance underscores tensions in Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition, with Forza Italia still reeling from Berlusconi’s death in June and its voters up for grabs.
The government shocked markets when it announced a 40% levy on banks’ extra profits on Aug. 7, wiping out an initial $10 billion in market value from domestic lenders before they recovered. The administration has since clarified the measure would be capped at 0.1% of bank assets. The country’s banking industry lobby is also seeking to make changes to the tax.
Meloni took full responsibility for the measure in a newspaper interview Monday, claiming it will send a message against a “distortion” in the banking system that’s detrimental for savers.
Tajani, who’s also foreign minister, was kept in the dark about Meloni’s plans to fast-track the tax, which hadn’t been discussed with the broader cabinet and with lenders before it was made public, according to the reports.
Last week, Tajani had publicly defended the measure in an interview with Corriere, pointing the finger at the ECB for wrongly raising interest rates.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.