October 26, 2018 / 6:22 AM / 21 days ago

ECB's Draghi alarm over Italian banks 'improper': League lawmaker

FILE PHOTO - European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi speaks during a news conference following the governing council's interest rate decision at ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

ROME (Reuters) - The concern raised by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi over the health of Italian banks was “improper”, Alberto Bagnai, a prominent lawmaker of the ruling League party, said on Friday.

Draghi warned on Thursday that a recent sell-off in Italian government bonds was set to dent the capital of Italy’s banks, which own about 375 billion euros ($426.30 billion) worth of that paper.

“I find it improper for the person in charge of the financial stability in Europe to sound the alarm, even if softened later on, over the health of the Italian lenders since Italy is one of the countries under his banking supervision,” Bagnai said in a radio interview with state-owned RAI.

Draghi also said that the ruling coalition, made up of the far-right League party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, should stop questioning “the constitutional existential framework of the euro”.

Bagnai, who is a eurosceptic economist and author of the book ‘The sunset of the euro’, said this was not an issue: “There is no risk of Italy leaving the euro. We have no intention now or in the future of giving up the euro.”

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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