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Windfall tax on bank profits? I'd do it again, says Meloni

Windfall tax on bank profits? I'd do it again, says Meloni

Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti 'fully involved'

ROME, 14 August 2023, 13:52

Redazione ANSA




Premier Giorgia Meloni said Monday she was behind the controversial introduction of a windfall tax on banks' surplus profits and that she would "do it again".
    "It was an initiative I wanted. Of course I would do it again," said the premier in a wide-ranging interview to Corriere della sera, La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers.
    "(Economy Minister Giancarlo) Giorgetti was fully involved," she added.
    "I have the greatest respect for the banking system and have no intention of hitting the banks. But there was an imbalance," explained Meloni.
    "The banking system was quick to raise mortgage rates but left rates for savers unchanged, creating a distortion," she continued.
    Last Monday the government announced a new 40% windfall tax on banks' surplus profits, triggering stock market turmoil the following day.
    The government subsequently performed a partial U-turn, saying the tax would be capped at 0.1% of institutes' assets.
    However, skepticism remains, with Moody's saying Thursday that the measure is "credit negative" and the Financial Times on Saturday describing the move as "disastrous" and the government's "biggest blunder so far".
    Deputy Premier and interim leader of government coalition partner Forza Italia (FI), Antonio Tajani, has also criticised the move, saying it had not been discussed prior to the cabinet meeting at which it was approved.
    "Things could have been done better, now we have to preserve our international credibility and reassure investors," said Tajani in an interview to Il Foglio on Saturday.
    "There may certainly be an issue of method," said Meloni.
    "I involved the majority to a lesser extent because, let's say, the issue wasn't to get out too far.
    "This is a very particular and delicate matter on which I have taken the responsibility to intervene," the premier added.


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