Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao wants Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in power for a second term.
The CEO revealed today that he backs Monti in an interview at the Mobile for Good Summit in London
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“Italy needs a leadership which is competent, hardworking, and has great integrity,” said Colao in the interview, “I can’t think of many people who display those characteristics better than Mario Monti.”
Monti said on December 8 that he will step down, due to parliamentary opposition from Berlusconi and his allies. Although Berlusconi had previously backed Monti’s government, Berlusconi is now causing trouble for Monti. Italian newspaper La Repubblica, following a phone interview with Monti, today reported that he was as yet unsure whether to run for a second term.
Monti intends to step down once Italy’s 2013 budget has been approved. Elections are forecast for February – a month earlier than previously expected.
The market reacted badly to the political uncertainty in Italy, causing the stock market in Milan to fall by 2.2 percent and borrowing costs to shoot up. On this news, Monti said: “I understand market reactions; they need not be over dramatized.”
Meanwhile, European leaders in Oslo – collecting the Nobel Peace prize, which was recently awarded to the EU, dismissed the market fears. French President Francis Hollande said: “The euro crisis, I’ve said it before, is behind us.”
Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) has been hit hard throughout the Eurozone due to the European debt crisis. On November 13 the company reported service revenues that missed estimates as well as a $9.5 billion write-down in Spain and Italy, creating a net loss throughout the first-half for the phone company.
Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) CEO Colao commented on the European crisis: “In Europe we have very healthy nations and there are less healthy ones,”
“We should all work together to help those less healthy ones to recover strength, entrepreneurship, and employment through structural reforms.”
The company’s organic service revenue in southern Europe suffered in the six months leading up to September, slumping by 9.8 percent down to £4.98 billion ($9.4 billion).
The first-half net loss was Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) ’s first since Colao became CEO in 2008.