"The restructuring of the Italian banking sector: State aid cannot assist mergers"*Introduction On 11 December 2001, the European Commission decided that the tax measures for banks introduced by Italian Law n° 461/98 of 23 December 1998 and the related Legislative Decree n° 153/99 of 17 May 1999, are incompatible with the State Aid rules of the EC Treaty. The measures in question provide a discriminatory competitive advantage to the banks that participate in the operations that are being favoured. Italy must now recover the amounts that the banks, benefiting from tax exemptions, avoided having to pay . Law 461/98 and Decree 153/99 introduced tax advantages for the consolidation of the banking sector. The main aspect consisted in the reduction to 12.5% of the rate of income tax
The EU Commission decides that tax measures for banks introduced by an Italian piece of legislation are incompatible with State aid rules and orders their recovery
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