Juncker goes to WAR with Italy’s oldest bank Monte dei Paschi putting bailout under threat

Juncker goes to WAR with Italy’s oldest bank Monte dei Paschi putting bailout under threat

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Jean Claude Juncker is taking many countries to task but could it be too many?GETTY

Jean Claude Juncker is taking many countries to task but could it be too many?

The controversial call comes days after the unelected president announced he is to take Spain, Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal to court over their reluctance to introduce legislation governing mortgages.

Mr Juncker, who is reported to have insulted British Prime Minister Theresa May following his visit to Downing Street last week, is tightening his grip on the state rescue of the Italian bank Monte Paschi.

Monte, which is the world’s oldest bank, asked for a bailout of state support in December.


Right now I am not in a position to give numbers

Monte’s chief executive Marco Morelli


It has been unsuccessfully trying to raise £4.22billion (€5bn) on the market to shore up its capital but was forced to go cap in hand to the state.

Italian ECB chief Mario Draghi has subsequently upped the estimated capital shortfall to £7.43bn (€8.8bn) after a six month delay caused by Brussels stalling.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena is still negotiating with the European Commission how many jobs to cut in a radical restructuring plan that is a condition for a state rescue of the Italian bank, Chief Executive Marco Morelli said.

The Italian government is proposing to take over a 70 percent ownership of the majority stake in the bank for £5.5bn (€6.6bn).

Mr Juncker is in cahoots with Mr Draghi of the ECB while Italian workers fear the sackGETTY

Mr Juncker is in cahoots with Mr Draghi of the ECB while Italian workers fear the sack

But none of the bail out methods are being approved by Juncker and the current status quo and he has demanded Monte’s chief executive Marco Morelli slash thousands more jobs than planned.

Mr Morelli published his own business plan to turn the bank’s fortunes around declaring he would sack 2,600 staff and shut 500 branches.

But he declared at a shareholders meeting that the European Commission take “a much more stringent approach”.

He said: “We are negotiating a plan that will be radically different from the one that the bank had presented to the market.

“We have told our counterparts that we need to find the right compromise … Right now I am not in a position to give numbers [on job losses].”

Monte is not the only bank in Italy suffering from a crisis with Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca also requesting bail outs last month.

All of the banks are struggling with their risky asset books and non performing loans which they estimate will take years to correct.

The world's oldest bank is in a grave state and Juncker thinks the solution is sacking the workforceGETTY

The world’s oldest bank is in a grave state and Juncker thinks the solution is sacking the workforce

The latest drama comes just a week after Juncker’s commission put four countries on notice that he would take them to court.

However leading Spanish economist Roberto Centeno says that the latest announcement shows the European Union and in particular the Commission is engaging in yet another power grab.

He said: “Recent European Council meetings are showing the world, and France in particular taking into consideration this week’s presidential elections, what will happen to any nation that dares to contradict the official EU line determined by EU bureaucrats. 

“Language is rough, threats will be aired.

“Recent elections in Austria, the Netherlands and France have brought with them a remarkable novelty: the blatant public positioning of the European Commission in favour of candidates perceived as pro-European and against candidates labelled as “extremists”. 

“So far the European Union had been very exquisite in relation to interfering in national electoral processes.

“I would simply remind Mr Juncker that his salary is also paid by millions of citizens who do not like what the European Union has become. 

“It was a pity that his White Paper on the Future of Europe which was published only a few weeks ago did not open the way to a debate on what kind of European cooperation we Europeans want.

“Since such debate has already been settled by those leading the EU, the multi-national club with the lowest economic growth in the OECD area, the only thing left, for instance, for French citizens is to vote for political options that want to open the debate on how free, independent nations want to cooperate in Europe.”

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