The annual assembly of the Association of Italian Banks, held yesterday in Rome, was unusually an occasion of criticism against the Government and the public.
In Italy, like more or less everywhere, banks have a shattered reputation, being blamed for the crisis and the ensuing credit crunch.
The President of the Association, Mr Antonio Patuelli, claimed that Italian banks are “the healthy part of the country”, or even better of the country they operate in.
Without doubt, these are provocative words. However, one must recognize that Italy is one of the very few countries that didn’t need to save its banks from bankruptcy, with the notable exception of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena; and even MPS is returning to the Treasury the money it received.