Italy Seeks an Additional $20.8 Billion to Help Its Banks

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Italy’s troubled and floundering banks have continuously failed to stabilize and have steadily increased in number, sprawling across the country. In fact, per CNN Money, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development states that there are more bank branches than there are pizzerias in Italy.

On Monday, the Italian Government announced that they are asking parliament for €20 billion (or $20.8 billion) to attempt to stabilize the country’s banks. Italy’s banking sector has become a worrisome area for both the government at large and individual investors—it is burdened by hundreds of billions of dollars in loans.

Italy is the Eurozone’s third-largest economy, and the country’s banking trouble has many worried about the health of the EU economy and the Euro.

Italy is already in $2.34 trillion in debt—a debt that surpasses the country’s GDP by 136 percent. That imbalance is second only to Greece among EU countries.

Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s resignation further knocked Italian banks off kilter. Renzi’s successor, Paolo Gentiloni, stated that the request for the massive loan was a precautionary measure.

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