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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 31 gennaio 2013 alle ore 07:42.


A week after the Monte dei Paschi "bomb" went off, voters, investors and politicians start to wonder how much the scandal, which has affected the so-called "red bank" (meaning the left-wing bank) can influence the outcome of elections. Based on recent forecasts it would seem just a little.

It is true to say that the PD has gone down slightly from 33,1/33,5% to 32,5/32,8%, in the latest forecasts: but his means losing less than 1%. On the other hand, the PDL appears to be making a slight improvement, going from 17,8/18,1% to 18,2/19,2 per cent.
According to experts, however, is not Monte dei Paschi that is weighing on public opinion, but increasingly the choice of some of the so-called "undecided" voters (about 30% of the electorate) who appear to be opting for the center-right rather than the center-left. The coalition of PD and SEL, in any case, continues to maintain a clear distance of approximately 10% from Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition.

According to forecasts, it seems that the banking scandal has not influenced voter's intentions for the moment, despite the fact that this event has in the last few days literally "occupied" agendas of leaders across the board. And it is a headline story on TV, radio, newspapers and websites all day around. Yesterday, Prime Minister Mario Monti, speaking on Radio 24, warned those seeking to nationalize Monte dei Paschi, one of the preferred solutions in the debate just opened: «The decrease of the shareholdings by Fondazione Mps and the increase in the share of capital owned of the state - said Monti - could be the last resort, which may be inevitable if Mps continues with its current difficulties, but it would mean a partial nationalization: in the past, state banks were the subject of hand-offs between banks and politics, therefore problems might not be resolved».

The tasty morsel Mps is what former Treasury Minister Giulio Tremonti (who served in the last Berlusconi's government) jumped at: Tremonti went from PDL to Northern League and now he is first in the Lega list for the Senate in a number of regions and also the primary candidate of this party. During a hearing on Montepaschi bank in the Camera (Lower House) last Tuesday, Tremonti heavily criticized both the Bank of Italy and the ECB President (and former chairman of the Bank of Italy), Mario Draghi, and even the Monti's Government Treasury Minister Vittorio Grilli. He took the view that in the Siena-gate, «the magistrates where the ones who intervened» while the Bank of Italy was absent, exercising «neither deterrence nor repression» against the bank.
The PDL went even further: the secretary Angelino Alfano compared the case of Mps to that of Banca Romana, which in 1893 overthrew the Left-wing parties of the time. The way forward could be the request for a parliamentary commission of inquiry in order to unearth the truth. A request that the PD is in favour of, even if its leader Pier Luigi Bersani prefers to extend it to all creative financing and not only tie it to the case of Mps.

In short, the political debate on the topic is very hot. But forecasts seem to give little importance to those who, in the run up to the election, are in the ring exchanging blows over the Mps case.
(Traduzione di James Tierney)

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