ROME (AP) — Italy's populist government has stepped in to help guarantee struggling Banca Carige SpA, bending to pressure despite the ruling 5-Star Movement's longtime anti-bank bailout rhetoric.

In a statement, the government said it passed a decree late Monday that guarantees future bond issues and foresees the possibility of a precautionary public recapitalization.

The European Central Bank last week appointed three commissioners to run Italy's 10th largest lender as part of a plan to avoid another Italian bank bailout.

Opposition Democrat leaders denounced the 5-Stars for what they said was hypocrisy, since the anti-establishment movement has long denounced bank bailouts and other bank initiatives of previous governments.

Former Premier Matteo Renzi said "it took just 10 minutes in a late-night Cabinet meeting to disprove five years of lies and insults against us."

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