Drugs, and especially cocaine, "pollute" the economic world and traders should be tested for narcotics, Carlo Giovanardi, a junior minister with responsibility for the family in Silvio Berlusconi's government, said in an interview published on YouTube and quoted by the Guardian.
Giovanardi said cocaine was one of the causes of fluctuations on the stock markets and "an alarm that needs to be listened to," according to the Guardian.
Testing traders is part of a wider project for checks on professional drivers, pilots, surgeons, police officers and public officials, the Italian minister said.
"The idea of giving drug tests to people with great responsibility is absolutely acceptable," Giovanardi said.
"I rather doubt that an investor would entrust his or her savings to an alcoholic. And the same thing holds good for cocaine."