Banco Ambrosiano was an Italian bank that collapsed in 1982. At the centre of the bank's failure was its chairman, Roberto Calvi and his membership in the illegal Masonic Lodge Propaganda Due (aka P2). The Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank, was Banco Ambrosiano's main shareholder. The Vatican Bank was also accused of funneling covert United States funds to Solidarity and the Contras through Banco Ambrosiano.
The death of Pope John Paul I in 1978 is rumoured to be linked to the Ambrosiano scandal.
The Banco Ambrosiano was founded in Milan in 1896 by Giuseppe Tovini, a Catholic advocate in Valle Camonica, and was named after Saint Ambrose, the fourth century archbishop of the city. Tovini's purpose was to create a Catholic bank as a counterbalance to Italy's "lay" banks, and its goals were "serving moral organisations, pious works, and religious bodies set up for charitable aims." The bank came to be known as the "priests' bank"; one chairman was Franco Ratti, nephew to Pope Pius XI. In the 1960s, the bank began to expand its business, opening a holding company in Luxembourg in 1963 which came to be known as Banco Ambrosiano Holding. This was under the direction of Carlo Canesi, then a senior manager, and from 1965 chairman.
In 1967, Canesi brought Roberto Calvi into Ambrosiano. In 1971, Calvi became general manager, and in 1975 he was appointed chairman. Calvi expanded Ambrosiano's interests further; these included creating a number of off-shore companies in the Bahamas and South America; a controlling interest in the Banca Cattolica del Veneto; and funds for the publishing house Rizzoli to finance the Corriere della Sera newspaper (giving Calvi control behind the scenes for the benefit of his associates in the P2 masonic lodge). Calvi also involved the Vatican Bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione, in his dealings, and was close to Bishop Paul Marcinkus, the bank's chairman. Ambrosiano also provided funds for political parties in Italy, and for both the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua and its Sandinista opposition. There are also rumours that it provided money for Solidarity in Poland (it has been widely alleged that the Vatican Bank funded Solidarity).
Calvi used his complex network of overseas banks and companies to move money out of Italy, to inflate share prices, and to secure massive unsecured loans. In 1978, the Bank of Italy produced a report on Ambrosiano that predicted future disaster and led to criminal investigations. However, soon afterward the investigating Milanese magistrate, Alessandrini, was killed by a left-wing terrorist group, while the Bank of Italy official who superintended the inspection, Mario Sarcinelli, found himself imprisoned on charges that were later dismissed.
In 1981, police raided the office of Propaganda Due Masonic lodge to apprehend the Worshipful Master Licio Gelli and uncover further evidence against Roberto Calvi. Calvi was arrested, put on trial, and sentenced to four years in prison. However, he was released pending an appeal and retained his position at the bank. Other alarming developments followed: Carlo de Benedetti of Olivetti bought into the bank and became deputy chairman, only to leave two months later after receiving Mafia threats and lack of co-operation from Calvi. His replacement, a longtime employee named Roberto Rosone, was wounded in a Mafia shooting incident. The criminal organization responsible for this shooting was the Banda della Magliana (Magliana Gang) which had taken over Rome's underworld in the late 1970s, and has been related to various political events of the anni di piombo (years of lead).
In 1982, it was discovered that the bank was unable to account for $1.287 billion (equivalent to $3.19 billion in present-day terms). Calvi fled the country on a false passport, and Rosone arranged for the Bank of Italy to take over. Calvi's personal secretary, Graziella Corrocher, left a note denouncing Calvi before leaping to her death from her office window. Calvi's body was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London on June 18 (see death of Roberto Calvi).
During July 1982, funds to the off-shore interests were cut off, leading to their collapse, and in August the bank was replaced by the Nuovo Banco Ambrosiano under Giovanni Bazoli. Pope John Paul II pledged full transparency regarding the bank's links to the Vatican and brought in lay bankers including German financial expert Hermann Abs, a move that was publicly criticized by Simon Wiesenthal, due to Abs' role as top banker to the Third Reich from 1938 to 1945.  There was much argument over who should take responsibility for losses incurred by the Old Ambrosiano's off-shore companies, and the Vatican eventually agreed to pay out a substantial sum without accepting liability.
In April 1992, Carlo De Benedetti, former deputy chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, and 32 other people were convicted of fraud by a Milan court in connection with the bank's collapse. Benedetti was sentenced to six years and four months in prison, but the sentence was overturned in April 1998 by the Court of Cassation.
In 1994, former Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi was indicted in the Banco Ambrosiano case, along with Licio Gelli, head of Propaganda Due, and former Justice minister Claudio Martelli. In April 1998, the Court of Cassation confirmed a 12-year sentence for Licio Gelli for the Ambrosiano crash.
Just before the media revealed the Ambrosiano scandal, Gérard Soisson, manager of transaction clearing company Clearstream, was found dead in Corsica, two months after Ernest Backes's dismissal from Clearstream in May 1983. Banco Ambrosiano was one of the many banks to have un-published accounts in Clearstream. Backes, formerly the third highest-ranking officer of Clearstream and a primary source for Denis Robert's book on Clearstream's scandal, Revelation$, claims he "was fired because (he) knew too much about the Ambrosiano scandal. When Soisson died, the Ambrosiano affair wasn't yet known as a scandal. (After it was revealed) I realized that Soisson and I had been at the crossroads. We moved all those transactions known later in the scandal to Lima and other branches. Nobody even knew there was a Banco Ambrosiano branch in Lima and other South American countries." As of 2005, while the Italian justice has opened up again the investigation concerning the murder of Roberto Calvi, Ambrosiano's chairman, it has asked the support of Ernest Backes, and will investigate Gerard Soisson's death, according to Lucy Komisar. Licio Gelli, headmaster of P2 masonic lodge, and mafioso Giuseppe "Pippo" Calò, are being prosecuted for the assassination of Roberto Calvi.
France denied deliveries of Exocet AM39 missiles purchased by Peru to avoid the possibility of Peru giving them to Argentina, because they knew that payment would be made with a credit card from the Central Bank of Peru, but British intelligence had detected that the guarantee was a deposit of two hundred million dollars from the Banco Ambrosiano Andino, an owned subsidiary of the Banco Ambrosiano. 
David Yallop believes that Calvi, with the assistance of P2, may have been responsible for the death of Albino Luciani who, as Pope John Paul I, was planning a reform of Vatican finances. This is one of many conspiracy theories about Luciani, who died of a heart attack. However, Calvi's family maintains that he was an honest man manipulated by others. Their perspective informs Robert Hutchison's 1997 book Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei. According to the magistrates who indicted Licio Gelli, P2's headmaster, and Giuseppe Calò for Calvi's murder, Gelli would have ordered his death to punish him for embezzlement of his and the mafia's money, while the mafia wanted to stop him from revealing the way Calvi helped it in money laundering.
Banca Carime S.p.A. was an Italian bank based in Cosenza , Calabria. The bank was a subsidiary of UBI Banca . As of 31 December 2015, the bank had 216 branches (all located in Southern Italy), serving Calabria (84 branches), Apulia (93 branches), Campania (where Salerno located; 20 branches) and Basilicata (19 branches). In 1999 the bank had 341 branches: 146 in Calabria, 45 in Basilicata, 122 in Apulia, 27 in Campania and 1 in Molise. History The bank was formed by the union of the saving banks ( Italian : Cassa di Risparmio ) of Calabria–Basilicata (Carical, found 1861 ), Apulia (Caripuglia, found 1949), and Salerno (Carisal, found 1956) by Cariplo . In 1996, Cariplo held 80% shares of Carisal and 63.71% shares of Caripuglia directly, as well as around 60% shares of Carical through direct ownership and through Fincarime , Caripuglia and Carisal. In 1997, Fincarime was renamed to Banca Carime S.p.A. with Cariplo SpA owned 98.70% shares directly and indirectly, as well as Cariplo reached 100% ownership for
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Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Viterbo (Carivit) was an Italian bank and charity organization. The bank sector was acquired by Cariplo in 1990s. In 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo completely absorbed the bank. History Cassa di Risparmio di Viterbo was found in 1855 in Viterbo in the Papal States . The bank acquired the saving banks in Acquapendente , Bagnoregio and Carbognano in 1927 and Casse di Risparmio Riunite di Ronciglione, Sutri, Capranica e Caprarola in 1937, due to a reform to force small saving banks to merge with a larger one. In the same year the bank was renamed into Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Viterbo . Due to Legge Amato , the bank was split into a limited company (S.p.A.) and a charity organization ( Ente Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Viterbo ). In 1990s Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde (Cariplo) bought 41.1% shares of the S.p.A. In 1997 it was increased to 64.32% and 70.92% in 1998. In the same year Cariplo was merged with Banco Ambrosiano Veneto to form Banca In
Crédit Agricole ( French: ), sometimes called the “Green Bank” because of its historical ties to farming , is a French network of cooperative and mutual banks comprising the 39 Crédit Agricole Regional Banks. In 1990, it became an international full-service banking group. It is listed through its holding company , Crédit Agricole S.A., on Euronext Paris ’ first market and is part of the CAC 40 stock market index. In 2013, the Crédit Agricole Group reported revenues of €26.4 billion. It was the title sponsor of the Crédit Agricole professional road cycling team from 1998 to 2008. History Source for most of the "History" section. In the second half of the 19th Century, French farmers struggled to obtain long-term, flexible, reasonably-priced credit. There were several attempts to set up farming banks, including Crédit Foncier de France in 1861, but none was successful. Birth of Crédit Agricole and creation of the local and regional banks 1894 - 1900 Jules Méline spearheaded the creation of the first Local Ba
Apart from France , established Jewish populations exist in the Netherlands , Belgium , Italy and Switzerland . With the original medieval populations wiped out by the Black Death and the pogroms that followed it, the current Dutch and Belgian communities originate in the Jewish expulsion from Spain and Portugal , while a Swiss community was only established after emancipation in 1874. However, the vast majority of the population in the Netherlands and a large proportion of the one in Belgium were killed in the Holocaust , and much of the modern Jewish population of these countries (as well as of Switzerland) derives from post-Holocaust arrivals from other parts of Europe . Here is a list of some prominent Sephardi Jews in western Europe, arranged by country of origin. Austria Belgium Chantal Akerman (born 1950), director-screenwriter Saul Akkemay , publicist-journalist Zora Arkus-Duntov , father of the Chevrolet Corvette (Belgian-born) Gérard Blitz , Olympic water polo medallist, co-founder of Club Med Franç
RCS MediaGroup S.p.A. , (formerly Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera) based in Milan and listed on the Italian Stock Exchange , is an international multimedia publishing group that operates in daily newspapers, magazines and books, radio broadcasting, new media and digital and satellite TV. It is also one of the leading operators in the advertisement sales & distribution markets. History Founded in 1927 by entrepreneur Angelo Rizzoli as A. Rizzoli & Co., it started in the press industry by buying out four national magazines, and later entering the publishing industry. Restructured and taken over a number of times, particularly in the 1980s when two of its executives became involved in the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano and the illegal Masonic Lodge Propaganda Due – or P2 . Following the 1982 death of Roberto Calvi , the group applied for bankruptcy protection and greatly downsized. Operations RCS MediaGroup's sectors include newspapers , magazines and books , radio broadcasting , the internet and digital and
Vincenzo Casillo (? - January 29, 1983) was an Italian Camorrista and the second in command of the Nuova Camorra Organizzata , a Camorra organization in Naples . His nickname was "'o Nirone" (The Big Black). Second in Command He was one of the earliest members of the Nuova Camorra Organizzata, since its formation in 1970. Casillo was highly trusted and soon rose to become the deputy and main military chief of crime boss, Raffaele Cutolo , during the period when he was imprisoned in the prisons of Poggioreale and Ascoli Piceno . As the Nuova Camorra Organizzata's second in command, he participated in a high-level meeting with representatives of the Sicilian Mafia and Camorra clans to try to put an end to the bloody war between the Nuova Camorra Organizzata and their rivals from the Nuova Famiglia , together with Cutolo’s sister, Rosetta . Purported involvement in the Roberto Calvi murder In June 1996, the Sicilian Mafia pentito , Francesco Di Carlo claimed that Vincenzo Casillo together with another Camorrist
The Flag of Vatican City The Coat of arms of Vatican City The location of Vatican City within Europe An enlargeable map of Vatican City State , including extraterritorial properties of the Holy See bordering Vatican City The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Vatican City: Vatican City – an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal - monarchical state, being the sovereign territory of the Holy See and ruled by the Bishop of Rome —the Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The territory of this landlocked sovereign city-state consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome , Italy . It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population. General reference View of Vatican City from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome Pronunciation: Common English country name: Vatican City Official English country name: Vatican City State Common endonym (s): Vatic
Beniamino "Nino" Andreatta (11 August 1928 – 26 March 2007) was an Italian economist and politician . He was a member of the center right Christian Democrat and one of the founders of the center right Italian People's Party in 1994 and of the Ulivo ( The Olive Tree (Italy) ) coalition in 1996. Early life and career At the Liceo Classico Giovanni Prati di Trento was a school friend of Giorgio Grigolli , then President of the Autonomous Province of Trento. After graduating in law from University of Padua in 1950, receiving the award for "best graduate of the year", he later completed his studies in economics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, and as a visiting scholar at Cambridge . In 1961, after his marriage to his wife Giana, he went to India on behalf of MIT , as a consultant to the Planning Commission of the government of Jawaharlal Nehru . The following year he became a full professor. During his academic career he taught at the Catholic University of Milan as a volunteer assistant, and
1981 January February March April May June July August September October November December March 30, 1981: U.S. President Reagan shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley Secretary Haig "in control" The following events occurred in March 1981 : March 1, 1981 (Sunday) Bobby Sands , a Provisional Irish Republican Army member incarcerated at the Maze prison , began a hunger strike seeking a change in the treatment of the other IRA member inmates. Sands would die 65 days later, on May 5, and was followed in death by nine other prisoners. Robert Goizueta became CEO of Coca-Cola. During his tenure, the Cuban-born businessman tripled the company's sales, and introduced both the successful "Diet Coke" and the disastrous "New Coke" Born: Adam LaVorgna , American TV actor (7th Heaven), in New Haven, CT March 2, 1981 (Monday) The asteroids 4923 Clarke and 5020 Asimov were discovered on the same night by astronomer Schelte J. Bus , and named by him in honor of authors Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov . Inventors
See also: 1895 in Italy , other events of 1896 , 1897 in Italy . Events from the year 1896 in Italy . Kingdom of Italy Monarch – Umberto I (1878–1900) Prime Minister – Francesco Crispi (1893–1896) Antonio di Rudinì (1896–1898) Events Menelik II at the battle of Adwa In 1896, the Banco Ambrosiano was founded in Milan by Giuseppe Tovini, a Catholic advocate, and was named after Saint Ambrose , the 4th century archbishop of the city. Tovini's purpose was to create a Catholic bank as a counterbalance to Italy's "lay" banks, and its goals were "serving moral organisations, pious works, and religious bodies set up for charitable aims." The bank came to be known as the "priests' bank." February February 1 – The world première performance of La bohème by Giacomo Puccini took place in Turin at the Teatro Regio and was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini . March March – The first Italian cinema screening by the Lumière brothers occurred in Turin . March 1 – The Battle of Adwa between Ethiopia and Italy near the tow
The Italian Socialist Party ( Italian : Partito Socialista Italiano , PSI ) was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy . Founded in Genoa in 1892, the PSI dominated the Italian left until after World War II , when it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party . The Socialists came to special prominence in the 1980s, when their leader Bettino Craxi , who had severed the residual ties with the Soviet Union and re-branded the party as " liberal-socialist ", served as Prime Minister (1983–1987). The PSI was disbanded in 1994 as a result of the Tangentopoli scandals. Prior to World War I , future dictator Benito Mussolini was a member of the PSI. History Early years The Italian Socialist Party was founded in 1892 as the Partito dei Lavoratori Italiani (Party of Italian Workers) by delegates of several workers' associations and parties, notably including the Italian Labour Party and the Italian Revolutionary Socialist Party . It was part of a wave of new socialist parties a
Arnaldo Forlani , OMI OESSH ( Italian pronunciation: ; born 8 December 1925) is an Italian politician who served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Italy from 18 October 1980 to 28 June 1981. He also held the office of Deputy Prime Minister , Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence . Forlani, a member of the right-wing of the Christian Democracy , was one of the most prominent Italian politician from 1970s to early 1990s . At age 91, Forlani is currently the oldest living former Italian Prime Minister. Early life and career Arnaldo Forlani was born in Pesaro , Marche , from a middle-class family. In 1948, after the degree in law at the University of Urbino , Forlani began his political career, holding the position of provincial secretary of Christian Democracy for Pesaro; he was later elected in the municipal and provincial councils. In 1954 he became a member of the central committee of Christian Democracy. In the 1958 general election Forlani was elected in the Chamber of Deputies for the first t
Events from the year 1982 in the United Kingdom . The year was dominated by the Falklands War . Incumbents Monarch – Elizabeth II Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher ( Conservative ) Parliament – 48th Events January 1 January – ITV launches three regional TV stations – Central , TV South and TV South West , replacing ATV Midlands, Southern Television and Westward Television respectively. 2 January – The Welsh Army of Workers claims responsibility for a bomb explosion at the Birmingham headquarters of Severn Trent Water . British Rail retire the Class 55 Deltic Diesel/Electric locomotives from service. 10 January – The lowest ever UK temperature of -27.2 °C is recorded at Braemar , in Aberdeenshire . This equals the record set in the same place in 1895, and the record will be equalled again at Altnaharra in 1995. 11 January – Mark Thatcher , son of the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher , disappears in the Sahara during Paris-Dakar rally . 14 January – Mark Thatcher is found safe and well in the Sahara Desert , s