Europe

Italian officials chide ECB for lack of transparency

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, the facade of a branch of the ' Monte Dei Paschi di Siena ' bank in Milan, Italy.  In a statement issued late Monday Dec. 27, 2016, the European Central Bank estimates the Monte Dei Paschi di Siena bank will need more rescue money than previously expected. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, FILE)

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, the facade of a branch of the ' Monte Dei Paschi di Siena ' bank in Milan, Italy. In a statement issued late Monday Dec. 27, 2016, the European Central Bank estimates the Monte Dei Paschi di Siena bank will need more rescue money than previously expected. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, FILE)  (The Associated Press)

Italy's premier says he was taken aback by the European Central Bank's move to significantly increase the amount of money that troubled bank Monte dei Paschi will need.

He said, however, that the government would cooperate with the banking authority.

Paolo Gentiloni's comments Thursday echo those by his finance minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, who chided the ECB in comments to the business daily Il Sole 24 Ore for not being transparent in how it arrived at the 8.8-billion-euro figure.

The government last week approved a 20-billion-euro fund to rescue Italy's third-largest lender, which had failed to raise enough capital on its own, and to secure other banks at risk.

Monte dei Paschi had been seeking 5 billion euros in new capital after failing an EU stress test last summer.