The European Central Bank (ECB) has rightly prevented former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from taking hold of an Italian bank. Because the billionaire was convicted of tax fraud, he did not meet the conditions, the European court ruled. Whether he would really call the shots at the bank is irrelevant.
Berlusconi previously seemed to be able to obtain permission through a holding company for his 30 percent interest in Banca Mediolanum. The Italian central bank wanted to put an end to this after Berlusconi’s conviction, but the flamboyant businessman-politician was proved right before the highest Italian administrative court. However, that verdict did come to him on allegations of corruption. When he subsequently wanted to convert his indirect interest in the bank into a direct one, the ECB intervened. As a result, the sale did not go through.
The ECB was within its rights, the General Court of the European Union ruled on Wednesday. The European supervisor does not need to check whether Berlusconi would really have influence over the bank. Whoever owns 30 percent of the shares could exert a decisive influence and convicted tax fraudsters are simply excluded from such a position.
The three-time prime minister (85) is leader of the right-wing populist Forza Italia and one of the richest people in Italy.
Berlusconi rightly banned as major shareholder of bank
Source link Berlusconi rightly banned as major shareholder of bank