Italian Minister of Economy resigns

Friday, September 23, 2005 The Italian Minister of the Economy, Domenico Siniscalco, resigned from his position in the Government on Thursday.

Siniscalco cited the handling of a recent banking scandal among the reasons for his resignation. He had sought the resignation of the governor of the Italian central bank, Banca d'Italia, for his alleged involvement in insider trading during an aborted bank takeover bid. The governor, Antonio Fazio, was believed to strongly favour an Italian bid over that of the Dutch bank ABN Amro.

Siniscalco stated in his resignation letter that he was "scandalized" by the state of affairs, and would prefer to return to work as a university professor in Turin. In addition to his issues with the Bank of Italy, his proposed budget had faced considerable dilution by the government coalition.

The Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gave the appearance of not being concerned about the resignation, and did not expect to take long to replace the minister. Centre-left opposition leader, Romano Prodi, said the dispute over the budget was a defining part of what made up the government. He called for immediate elections in the wake of the resignation.