Brexit will lead to EU ‘disintegration’ says Yanis Varoufakis
France and Germany have long been considered to be at the heart of the drive for more integration and federalisation across the European Union. But Berlin and Paris’ response to the coronavirus pandemic will contribute to the dissolution of the EU in the long-run, according to Yanis Varoufakis. Speaking to LBC, the former Greek Economy Minister said: “The EU has failed to take into account the dynamic process of disintegration that has begun.
“I don’t there’s going to be another exit, I don’t think there’s going to be Italy leaving or Greece leaving. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
“The worst threat for the European Union is an under-the-surface, slow deconstruction. Already, we’re seeing it.
“France and Germany, their economies are moving in opposite directions. The German economy is recovering very fast from the pandemic, the French economy is not.
“The north and the south are becoming different continents, the east and the west.”
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He added: “And you already have a re-nationalization of many policies in the context of the European Union which is shifting further and further away from any federation.”
Mr Varoufakis suggested the shifts taking place among member states has elicited the fear of European leaders that the union will become “irrelevant”.
He continued: “I remember some years ago, I was in Moscow and I was walking down the street and I noticed a building that said ‘the Commonwealth of Independent States’.
“And I remembered the CIS was the successor of the Soviet Union when Gorbachev was overthrown. They created the CIS.
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“That has a building, it exists, it was never disbanded. The greatest fear of the European Union is that it’s going to become irrelevant.”
EU member states have already begun to experience considerable differences because of the coronavirus pandemic and members starting to diverge from common values.
Hungary and Poland have increasingly clashed with the European Commission over their pursuit for national policies defying EU rule of law requirements.
Italy has repeatedly locked horns with the bloc over its growing deficit and demands from Brussels to reform the pension and infrastructure system to limit the impact of higher spending on the already-inflated debt of the bloc’s third-biggest economy.
Discussions on the coronavirus recovery fund last year threatened to cause additional splits in the bloc as northern and southern states traded barbs on the distribution plans.
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And France has been already warned the change of the guard expected to happen in Germany in September may leave their President struggling to remain relevant.
Professor Simon Bulmer suggested whoever succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel when she resigns will need to find common ground with Emmanuel Macron because of divergent views on the future of the bloc.
Professor Bulmer said: “The real issue is how far [Ms Merkel’s] successor is able to forge a relationship with France because the Franco-German relationship has been a little bit tense at times recently.
“With the exception of the launch of the European reconstruction fund to deal with the economic fallout of.
“So we shouldn’t forget how these constellations of political leaders in the European Union of 27 plays out.
“Often that is a matter of personality.”
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