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eurozone_crisis

  This morning, as Italians go to the polls to vote in a constitutional referendum, European TV channels broadcast a special programme going to the root of the referendum – Italy’s banking crisis.   A series of senior bankers, chairmen and chief executives expressed their views.  None were optimistic.   The head of Societe Generale in Italy offered the view that there is no point recapitalising banks who have no realistic hope of making any profits.  Another said effectively that non-performing loans (NPLs) were bad, but the threats facing Italian banks from non bank lenders and technological developments were much worse.  Yet a third conceded that Italy should have copied Spain and applied for a bailout from the European Stability Mechanism (unfunded bailout fund).   Then the young interviewer met with Prime