Italy makes 5.2B euros in resources to keep 2 banks afloat

ROME (AP) — The Italian government is making 5.2 billion euros ($5.8 billion) of resources available to keep operative two banks that the European Central Bank last week had deemed `’failing or about to fail,” sending them into insolvency procedures.

Premier Paolo Gentiloni said the measures, adopted at a Cabinet meeting Sunday, are `’in full respect of EU rules” about national governments’ aiding local banks.

Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza have struggled to overcome high levels of loans not being paid back. Gentiloni said Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo would take on the `’good” assets of the two banks. Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan assured Italians the two banks would be operating normally on Monday when they reopen after the weekend.

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