Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani is to present on Friday an emergency decree to the Italian Parliament to pour extra funds into the local cinema industry, after the Italian bank that manages the film industry's funds announced that its coffers are almost empty

According to Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the BNL bank, which manages the government's film fund, has announced that the fund has dwindled to a paltry Euros 40m. In 1994, BNL's film fund amounted to around Euros 500m, while in 2001 it stood at Euros 300m.

"Often loans have gone to "friends of friends", without anyone looking to see whether the film was good or not," Il Sole reported Urbani as saying.

Il Sole 24 Ore reports that Urbani's emergency decree will request an extra Euros 70m for the film industry, which will be largely destined for production.