ROME, Sept 22 (Reuters) - A senior Italian politician urged foundation shareholders of UniCredit (CRDI.MI) to defend Italy’s biggest bank against growing German influence after its chief executive resigned following a strategic disagreement.
“I was afraid that Germany could get its hands on the bank,” Northern League leader Umberto Bossi said in parliament.
“If there is a minimum of intelligence in the foundations, they can’t do it,” said Bossi, whose party has links through local authorities to some of the foundations which hold stakes in UniCredit.
“I hope the foundations don’t stand there with their hands in the pockets, but that they organize a defence,” he said.
Alessandro Profumo stepped down from his position as chief executive of UniCredit late on Tuesday.
He has been replaced on an interim basis by chairman Dieter Rampl, former head of Germany’s second-biggest bank HVB, which was acquired by UniCredit in 2005. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Catherin Hornby)