- REUTERS/Nicky Loh
- The European Union is in the midst of an “existential crisis” and may cease to exist, billionaire investor George Soros said.
- “The European Union is mired in an existential crisis,” Soros wrote in a blog for Project Syndicate. “For the past decade, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.”
- President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is partially to blame for the EU’s problems.
- His comments come at a time when Italy is undergoing a major political crisis, which many believe may have the ability to pull Italy out of the eurozone, and lead to the project’s ultimate demise.
Billionaire investor George Soros believes that Europe is in the midst of an “existential crisis” and is at genuine risk of ceasing to exist as we currently know it, unless drastic changes are made.
“The European Union is mired in an existential crisis,” Soros wrote in a blog for Project Syndicate. “For the past decade, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.”
Soros effectively argues that some in the bloc has moved so far away from its founding goals that the EU can no longer sustain itself in its current state.
“There is no longer any point in ignoring the reality that a number of European Union member countries have explicitly rejected the EU’s goal of “ever closer union,'” Soros said.
The last 10 years have been crucial in this shift (emphasis ours):
“Since the financial crisis of 2008, the EU seems to have lost its way. It adopted a program of fiscal retrenchment, which led to the euro crisis and transformed the eurozone into a relationship between creditors and debtors. The creditors set the conditions that the debtors had to meet, yet could not meet. This created a relationship that was neither voluntary nor equal – the very opposite of the credo on which the EU was based.
“As a result, many young people today regard the EU as an enemy that has deprived them of jobs and a secure and promising future. Populist politicians exploited the resentments and formed anti-European parties and movements.”
The United States, for its part, has exacerbated the EU’s problems,” Soros said.
“By unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump has effectively destroyed the transatlantic alliance. This has put additional pressure on an already beleaguered Europe.
“It is no longer a figure of speech to say that Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality.”
His comments come at a time when Italy is undergoing a major political crisis, which many believe may have the ability to pull Italy out of the eurozone, and lead to the project’s ultimate demise.
Almost three months after an inconclusive election left the country without a government, Italians could be headed back to the polls imminently. That vote could very well become a de facto referendum on euro membership, and have potentially huge repercussions for the whole of the continent.
To save the EU, Soros said, it needs to reinvent itself via a “genuinely grassroots effort” which allows member countries more choice than is currently afforded.
“Instead of a multi-speed Europe, the goal should be a ‘multi-track Europe’ that allows member states a wider variety of choices. This would have a far-reaching beneficial effect.”
This is not the first grand proclamation about the future Soros has made in 2018. In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he told a dinner that the “survival of our entire civilization is at stake,” and warned of the realistic possibility of a major nuclear war in the coming years.