March 24 The chief of General Electric's
European business said the industrial conglomerate wanted
Britain to stay in the European Union and Scotland to remain
part of Britain, the Financial Times reported.
A large-scale poll showed on Sunday that public opinion
split on whether Britain should leave the 28-country bloc but
highlighted widespread discontent among voters about the ways in
which the country benefits from its EU membership.
The FT said GE Europe's chief executive, Ferdinando
Beccalli-Falco, believed a more united Europe was necessary to
compete with China and the United States. (link.reuters.com/wab87v)
A fully integrated Europe is a 450 million person powerhouse
- the most important market in the world - Beccalli-Falco said,
adding that England leaving the EU would not be good for either
England or Europe.
GE makes about 24 billion euros ($33.08 billion) in revenue
per year from Europe, about 17 percent of its overall revenue,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
Beccalli-Falco also said uncertainty over Britain's future
EU membership was not having an impact on GE's investment
decisions, but that GE wanted Britain to remain an active
participant in the eurozone, the newspaper said on its website.
It added that Beccalli-Falco said Scotland was so thoroughly
integrated in Britain's industrial and financial sectors that
cutting it loose would not be an easy task and would have
Scotland will vote on whether to end its 307-year union with
England in September.
GE joins BlackRock, RBS, Standard Life
and Barclays and the bosses of oil majors BP
and Royal Dutch Shell in voicing its opinion
against Scottish independence.
GE could not be reached for comment outside of regular
($1 = 0.7256 Euros)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Anand Basu)