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EU top court says it has final say on former PM's stake in Mediolanum

The EU's highest court alone can rule on a European Central Bank decision that ordered former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to cut his 30% stake in Banca Mediolanum SpA because of his conviction in a tax fraud case, it said Dec. 19.

The ECB in October ruled against Berlusconi's holding of a 30% stake in Mediolanum via his Fininvest vehicle, deeming the businessman unfit to own more than a 10% stake after his conviction.

The announcement was in response to Berlusconi's complaint to an Italian administrative court and the EU's general court against the ruling. The European Court of Justice's claim was in response to the administrative court. "The EU courts alone have jurisdiction to determine, as an incidental matter, whether the legality of the ECB's decision ... is affected by any defects of the preparatory acts adopted by the Banca d'Italia," it said.