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Campobasso

Savona probed for 'banking usury'

'Formality', no resignation says Di Maio, cleanest says Salvini

Savona probed for 'banking usury'

Campobasso, July 20 - European Affairs Minister Paolo Savona is under investigation in a Campobasso probe into banking usury when he was a top manager at Italy's biggest bank Unicredit, sources said Friday. The probe involved another 22 people, judicial sources said. They include former banker Alessandro Profumo, now CEO of aerospace giant Leonardo, and Fabio Gallia, CEO and general manager of government bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). A lawyer for alleged usury victim Engineering SrL, Luigi Iosa, told ANSA that the notification was "a formality" because bank chiefs have to be probed for their "role of guarantee and control". Asked whether Savona should resign, Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said "it's a probe we already knew about". Therefore, he said, Savona should not be forced to quit. The probe "is a formality towards him when he was at Unicredit", Di Maio said. "Having said that, as always, if we already knew about the investigation and we still chose Savona, we're going forward," said Di Maio. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the other deputy premier and government partner, voiced the hope that the Italian justice system would swiftly clear European Affairs Minister Paolo Savona in a banking usury probe. "May justice run its course speedily," he said. "Does he look like someone with the face of a usurer? "I hope justice runs its course swiftly because I think that Paolo Savona is one of the cleanest, most correct and most honest people in this country". Di Maio heads the senior government partner, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S). Salvini leads the junior partner, the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League (L) party. Salvini has been accused of dominating the news cycle with his anti-migrant moves. The alleged usury took place over 10 years and allegedly involved transactions at Rolo Banca 1473, which was subsequently taken over by Unicredit, judicial sources said.

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