ROME (Reuters) - Implementing an emergency decree to prop up Italy's struggling banks will be a long and complicated process, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.


The government approved a decree last week to bail out its third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena <BMPS.MI> and pledged to protect the savings of around 40,000 retail investors.


"Putting this into practice will be long and complicated, we aren't hiding that, but it is a strategic and fundamental decision," Gentiloni told a news conference.


(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Isla Binnie)