'The time of tax havens has finished forever. To place or keep money in tax havens is no longer convenient, neither in economic nor in tax terms. The returns are small, the risk is high', said Italy's finance ministry in an official statement issued in late December.
The statement followed the release of Italy's controversial tax amnesty plan; the plan has already yielded much more than officials expected, some 95 billion euro thus far. Although the amnesty has been extended until April 2010, officials at Italy's finance ministry claim that some 98 percent of the money illegally held overseas has already been repatriated.
The repatriated funds have already given a boost to Italian banks. According to news sources, the 5 billion euro windfall the government will realize through the amnesty will be filtered back into the crisis-hit Italian economy.