EU crisis: MEP admits eurozone ‘dysfunctional’ as Brussels warned of exodus from the bloc

Brexit: EU Commission says ‘mistakes can happen’

Italian MEP Francesca Donato has delivered a blistering attack to the heart of the European Union and insisted other member states are looking at following the UK out of the bloc. Ms Donato is the founder of the Eurexit Project Association, a group which promotes an alternative vision for Europe.

In a scathing assessment, the 51-year-old claimed the euro is “highly disadvantageous for Italy” as well as southern Europe, and insisted there needed to be another option to Europe’s single currency.

Speaking to Italian news outlet Imola Today, Ms Donato said: “The Eurexit project is a communication, analysis and in-depth tool on macroeconomic issues and the eurozone in particular.

“Many Italians share my opinion that belonging to the eurozone is highly disadvantageous for Italy and together we think about possible alternatives to the dysfunctional euro system for the entire southern area of Europe.

“It is a topic that is no longer talked about in the media, but that is still discussed among politicians and economists in Europe.”

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Italy has been one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic – with the second-highest death toll in Europe.

The Italian economy is forecast to contract by a further seven percent this year, according to Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri.

The European Union has set up a £665billion (€750billion) coronavirus emergency package of which Italy is set to receive around £175billion (€200billion).

But, the economy across the eurozone is set to continue to struggle, as the European Central Bank cut its 2021 growth forecast to just 4.5 percent, down from the initial five percent.

Forecasts for the two largest economies in the eurozone have also been downgraded in recent months.

Germany’s GDP is forecast to grow by 3.7 percent in 2021, down from 4.6 percent.

Growth in France was also cut to 5.9 percent from 6.9 percent.

Ms Donato condemned the bloc’s handling of the pandemic and its measures to help to economy.

She said: “The European Union is not managing the Covid emergency well.

“What we see is a jumble of contradictory measures that lack adequate scientific motivation and create very serious damage to the European economy without being able to significantly affect the contagion spread.”

She warned the current situation could trigger other countries to leave the bloc – including France and Austria.

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Ms Donato added: “England left Europe for two main reasons: to regain sovereignty that was slowly going to Brussels and reduce immigration to the UK.

“The current problems in the eurozone confirm this prospect.

“There are other countries that would like to leave the EU such as Austria and a large percentage of people in France.”

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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