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Italy’s Abruzzi Regional Council Approves Glass-Steagall Draft Legislation

May 24, 2016 (EIRNS)—The Abruzzi regional council became the fifth Italian regional legislature to approve a Glass-Steagall draft legislation today. The bill, 179/2015, was filed by a Democratic Party member of the regional government, Marinella Sclocco, and was modelled on the text approved by the Tuscany regional council in 2013. Besides Tuscany, the other regions which have approved a Glass-Steagall draft bill are Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto. In Italy, draft bills can be introduced by members of Parliament or by Regional Councils, or by popular initiative, with a set minimum number of signatures.

The Abruzzi bill was voted up by the Democratic Party (PD) and Forza Italia; but the M5S group abstained, claiming that the draft bill they presented in the Parliament is better and also includes regulation of the Bank of Italy. However, the M5S voted in favor of its own amendment, which was approved. One opposition councilman voted against the bill but specified that he agreed with the text; however, he protested because, in his view, it should have been first discussed in the committee.

In the debate leading to the vote, Forza Italia spokesman Gianni Chiodi, a former regional governor, declared that his group is in favor of banking separation and therefore would vote in favor; however, he downplayed its usefulness as, he said, there are already draft bills introduced by all parties in the national Parliament and the Abruzzi resolution would not change anything.

Chiodi was rebuked by Abruzzi region president Luciano D’Alfonso (PD), who insisted that an Act by the Abruzzi Region can be influential if a difference emerges in a parliament debate. D’Alfonso cited historical cases in which, facing opposition in their own ranks, faction leaders confronted dissidents with what regional constituencies had expressed in formal acts, thus convincing the dissidents. He cited two cases, one involving legislators from the Basilicata region and another one from Sicily.

The unspoken implication of the examples D’Alfonso gave is that both the Abruzzi and the Tuscany draft bills, voted up in Democratic Party-controlled regional councils, can be used against the draft bill introduced by the Democratic Party in the Senate, which is a Dodd-Frank hoax. Another councilman from Forza Italia Paolo Gatti called on all sponsors of bank separation bills in the Parliament to make an effort to come all together and finally agree to vote on one text.