Italy market watchdog head resigns amid political pressure

MILAN (Reuters) - Mario Nava, the head of Italy’s market watchdog Consob, has handed in his resignation just months after taking office, the regulator said on Thursday, confirming earlier reports.

In a statement regretting the decision, Consob said the resignation would take effect immediately.

Nava, 52, was the European Commission’s director for financial system surveillance and crisis management until he was appointed Consob head earlier this year.

The appointment, made by the previous government, prompted him to take a temporary leave, or secondment, from the Commission.

Italy’s current ruling coalition, which took power in June, called for his resignation claiming his continued ties to the European Commission conflicted with his institutional role.

The coalition, comprising the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement and the far-right League, also said he still benefited from judicial immunity.

In a statement Nava said the legal question of his administrative position had passed the scrutiny of four institutions, including the European Commission and Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella.

“The question is therefore only political”, he said.

Earlier, in a tweet, the economic spokesman of the League Claudio Borghi praised Nava’s decision.

“I thank Dr. Nava for the good sense he has shown with this resignation,” he said.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Crispian Balmer