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Piedmont Says Official Signed Swap in Language He Couldn’t Read

The official in the Italian region of Piedmont who signed interest-rate swaps with Dexia Crediop SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA didn’t speak English well enough to understand the contracts, according to the region’s documents at a London court hearing.

Piedmont, which says it was wined and dined by the banks, signed swaps to cover its interest-rate exposure on a 1.8 billion euro ($2.3 billion) bond issue in 2006, and hasn’t made payments since January 2012, the two Italian banks said in court documents. Dexia and Intesa asked a U.K. court to order immediate repayment of about 36 million euros without the need for a trial.