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Home English 'Grillo' top problem for EU, says Goldman Sachs president

'Grillo' top problem for EU, says Goldman Sachs president


Rome, March 29 - The biggest problem currently
facing the European Union (EU) is not the struggling economy of
Cyprus but the "Grillo factor" in Italy, Jim O'Neill, president
of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV on Friday.
"I don't understand how some of the these tough guys in the
north are not thinking about that issue," said O'Neill in
reference to the political ascent of the anti-establishment
5-Star Movement (M5S) led by Genoa comic Beppe Grillo, which
took over 25% of the popular vote in recent general elections.
"Italy is the third largest country in the eurozone and if
they don't start to have some growth sometime soon, these guys
are going to ask questions more seriously about the benefits of
staying in the euro...," he continued.
"What is the EU doing to deal with that? The EU seems to
get its decisions made for it by powerful voices in certain
countries particularly Germany," concluded O'Neill.
On Friday, President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano
began a new round of talks with political parties after
centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani announced that he had been
unable to garner sufficient support to form a new government to
replace the technocrat executive led by Mario Monti.
His failure was partly due to opposition from the M5S, which
now holds the balance of power in a hung parliament.
Monti was brought in to replace ex premier Silvio Berlusconi
in November 2011 at the height of the sovereign debt crisis in
the eurozone but his government has done little to kickstart the
struggling economy.

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