Italy government aids bank despite 5-Star bailout rhetoric

ROME (AP) – Italy’s populist government has stepped in to help guarantee struggling Banca Carige SpA, bending to pressure despite the ruling 5-Star Movement’s long-time anti-bank bailout rhetoric.

In a statement, the government said it passed a decree late on Monday that guarantees future bond issues and foresees the possibility of a precautionary public recapitalisation.

The European Central Bank last week appointed three commissioners to run Italy’s 10th largest lender as part of a plan to avoid another Italian bank bailout.

Opposition Democrat leaders denounced the 5-Star for what they said was hypocrisy, since the anti-establishment movement has long denounced bank bailouts and other bank initiatives of previous governments.

Former Premier Matteo Renzi said “it took just 10 minutes in a late-night Cabinet meeting to disprove five years of lies and insults against us.”