BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission appealed against an EU court ruling that ratified the rescue of a small Italian lender, in a move that pits the bloc’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager against Italy’s euroskeptic government.
The decision is a blow to Italian banks that were considering filing compensation claims against the Commission after the EU court verdict issued in March, which overturned an initial decision by Brussels to block the rescue of Tercas.
Vestager - Candidate - Presidency - Commission - Week
Vestager, a candidate for the presidency of the next commission, waited until after last week’s European Parliament elections before announcing her decision to appeal the ruling, in what was seen as a move to avoid interfering with the vote.
Bank rescues are a sensitive issue in Italy, where an anti-establishment government has campaigned against EU “bail-in” rules that limit the use of public money to prop up ailing lenders.
EU - Regulators - Rescue - Tercas - Money
EU antitrust regulators blocked the rescue of Tercas in 2015 because it was carried out with money from Italian deposit guarantee fund FITD.
Brussels considered the bailout in breach of EU state aid rules because it said the fund had acted on behalf of the Italian state, effectively providing unfair subsidies to the bank.
EU - General - Court - Decision - March
The EU General Court overturned that decision in March, ruling that the fund had acted independently.
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