The number of investigations into the Monte dei Paschi continues to mount. Two new probes into the Bank and its doings over the years join those ongoing. So far, then, we have:
Siena magistrates investigating various transactions and kick-backs but most importantly the acquisition of another regional bank, Antonveneta, for over 3 billion euros more than had been paid for it by other banks only 6 months before.
Puglia magistrates investigating banking supervision of the Bank by both the Bank of Italy and CONSOB (the Italian equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission)
Rome magistrates investigating market manipulation (and manipulation of the Euribor) and insider trading.
The attacks on the media's attempts to open up what has been going on and who is involved continue from the Democratic party. Pierluigi Bersani, Leader of the hard left faction controlling the Democratic party, has announced that the Party's lawyers have been instructed to start proceedings against those who link the Partito Democratico and the Monte dei Paschi Foundation (controlled for decades by the Left) to the conduct of the Bank. In a vicious response to Prime Minister Monti's statement that there must be clear separation of political parties from bank activities he pretended that it is bank interference in political party behaviour that should be under investigation.
The polling lead of the Leftist coalition is falling steadily and there is now a 5-point gap between the People of Liberty coalition and the Democratic Party coalition, down from 12-15 points only 10 days ago. In part this may be due to the finalising of the formal coalitions and their party lists, in part to the numbers of voters declining to state their intentions falling from 40% of the electorate to the current 30% still undeclared. But the sheer incredulity with which the electorate, particularly the Tuscan electorate, once a stronghold of the Left, has watched the laying bare of the Left's illicit grasp upon the region's economy and post-War culture and evolution, is taking its toll.
The President of Italy has told us all to look away now and fix our attention on 'the future'. Jam tomorrow, then? We'd rather have truth and justice today.
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