| GEO World|
| Italy pledges steps to assure stability in banking system|
| Updated at: 2304 PST, Wednesday, October 01, 2008|
ROME: The Italian government on Wednesday pledged steps to guarantee stability in the banking system, helping leading bank Uni Credit to recover from a battering on the stock market.
The ministry vowed to "protect the Italian market from attacks of a speculative nature fueled by the climate of uncertainty weighing on the international financial system."
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, for his part, said he would "not tolerate speculative attacks on banks (causing) Italians to lose their savings."
The conservative leader and self-made billionaire said: "Our banking system is very far from the financial systems of other countries. The number of loans is lower (and) property prices have not fallen in Italy."
Shares in Uni Credit, which has the most foreign exposure among Italian banks, saw precipitous drops on Monday and Tuesday to their lowest level in 10 years.
Trading was suspended in the morning but rebounded after the finance ministry statement, closing up 11.24 percent at 2.89 euros.