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Carlo De Benedetti – London School of Economics

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Carlo De Benedetti at the London School of Economics.

Wednesday, 19th May 2010 – David Franchi

The bubbly lecture of Carlo De Benedetti at the London School of Economics, organised by the Italian Society last 18th May, has seen a lot of argumentative question by the public.

The title of the lesson was “Europe at a crossroads: the difficulty of staying together in times of economic crisis” and it was held in English as well as the following public question time.

De Benedetti in the lecture treated about EU policies, the Greek crises, the lack of united Europe, the need of a political efficient system and the need of EU reforms.

Later the London lesson was animated by a good debate with the public, including many different aspects of Italy from the role of criminal organizations to some political issues.

De Benedetti is a real important Italian entrepreneur and played significant roles in the financial and economic scene, both Italian and international.

Opening the lesson he has spoken about the difficult moment of the world economy, and in particular referring to the Greek situation, Mr. De Benedetti said: “This is a matter which is of much concern and difficulties”.

The main problem, according to him, is that many governments of the European Union don’t do anything. And he added EU policies are not strong enough to make governments to act in the accurate way. Now the Greek problem is present and can spread to all the peripherals countries with weak economic bases. “A Greek fault can lead to a big loss for everyone”, Mr. De Benedetti affirmed.

Another matter of the lesson was about rumors of monetary dissolution of the Euro currency. De Benedetti affirmed that it would be a disaster for everyone and also for political union. Everyone is receiving benefits from the European Union, even Germany, and the EU has to face the competitors, like emerging economies Russia, China, etc.

Mr. De Benedetti also spoke about political credibility that is the basic of economic stability. And made the example of United Kingdom that in the credit crunch moment was working well, because traditionally UK has a well efficient political system.

The lesson ended with the opinion of De Benedetti about how to go out of the credit crunch moment. Firstly, Europe Union needs reforms, both national and European level: “Reforms that what we have to start from in all EU. But it is really up to the European Union member states to provide for repairing”, De Benedetti said.

Money should be used to help those in needs, unemployed and low-income workers.

After the lesson De Benedetti answered to question from the public. Mainly those questions were about EU market, criminal organizations, Italian southern situation, and economy.

Speaking about a common European market, De Benedetti repeated many times that he is skeptical about it. EU tried to create a common currency in 1992 and then a common market. But this is not working and, according to Mr. De Benedetti, there is no Europe anymore. Problems are related to the lack of stable willingness of member states to unify market.

Additionally the European Union has other weak aspects. The Parliament, nowadays, is a cost not a benefit, because it does not have suitable decisional powers.

“Although I was in favour, the enlargement was made too quickly and now we have problems to managing everything” De Bendetti said.

Speaking about the Italian huge public debt, De Benedetti revealed: “The 50% of our public debt is in the hands of financial international institutions. So an Italian default would be a catastrophe of international proportion. A sort of insurance policy. I exclude the Italian default”.

De Benedetti ended is speech with some significant words to the former Italian Prime Minister, Massimo D’Alema, defining him a “human drama case”. The problem accoridng to De Bendetti I sthat in Italy there is no opposition.

But mostly he concentrated is fire on the Prime Minister Berlusconi, saying that “He is the worst solution for the country, in terms of morality and economic credibility”. De Benedetti and Berlusconi are rivals since many years.

De Benedetti, in fact, is one of the most influential entrepreneurs of Italy. He is also an electronic engineer and an editor.

De Benedetti is born into a wealthy Jewish family. He is the brother of Franco Debenedetti (a different family name, but it was a mistake of the employee of the register of births), one of the most influential senators of the Italian Parliament, since many years.

Carlo De Benedetti started to work in the family company showings quickly his qualities as manager. In the years sometimes pairing with his brother, made a fortune in the financial and economic business, steering big companies like FIAT, the most important Italian car company, or CIR, a company that gave him the opportunity to take control of the La Repubblica/L’Espresso, one of the most important editorial group in Italy.

In 1978 De Benedetti became leader of Olivetti Company giving a boost of national economy and becoming Olivetti a world leader company.

But De Benedetti was also implicated in some of the worst financial and economic scandal of Italy. In the beginning of the ‘80s he was involved in the Banco Ambrosiano bank of Roberto Calvi (who was later found hanged in the Blackfriars Bridge in London).

In the late 80’s was also involved in the SME (the biggest food company of Italy), and in the Mondadori (the biggest Italian publishing company) cases. In both of the scandals De Benedetti had to match against Berlusconi in very huge scandals that still not really clarified.

In 1992 was involved in Tangentopoli and he confessed that have bribed politicians with 10 billion of liras (Italian currency), but the offence then prescribed.

In 2005 De Benedetti comes back on the scene and constitute Management & Capitali, a company that groups very important names of the Italian finance. In 2006 comes back to lead the L’Espresso group in person.

Carlo De Benedetti could really be defined as a piece of the history of the Italian economy, a person with a huge and deep experience, though he seems to be fairly in an old fashion way in his approach of the new issues.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2911:london-carlo-de-benedetti-at-the-london-school-of-economics&catid=77:italian-citizens-uecittadini-italiani-allestero&Itemid=300068

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Written by davidfranchi

November 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

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