Six countries may quit the Eurozone for their own good
With Brussels divided between whether more or less Europe is the answer, these half-dozen states could lose patience and simply follow Britain’s lead and go it alone.
Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus could all pull out of the union for a litany of different reasons.
Greece has suffered through seven years of financial calamity and is currently receiving its third aid programme.
Politicians and citizens alike are furious at the EU for attempting to “crush” the country – with many believing Brussels wanted to use Greece as an example to other EU states.
Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said last month: “They were only interested in crushing our government.
“Why? Only because they wanted to use this crushing of our government, of the Greek Spring, of the Athens Spring as a morality tale by which to frighten, to scare, Spaniards, Irish, Italian, and ultimately French voters from getting ideas that they can elect a government that will contest the powers of the Troika.”
These are the most eurosceptic countries Fri, February 24, 2017
Rising disenchantment with the dealings of EU is not just confined to the UK.
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Italy has the largest debt of any EU state and is showing no sign of serious growth despite incentives.
With low interest rates and good oil prises, the economy grew by less than one per cent last year.
Despite this, the European Commission continues to heap pressure on Italy, requesting Rome saves an eye-watering 3.4 billion euros.
Two options seem likely for Italy going forward – an economic collapse which would cost Brussels far more to rebalance than Greece, or an Italian Eurozone exit.
Irish PM Enda Kenny has spoken out against a hard border with Northern Ireland
Spain’s unemployment problem is being slowly dealt with but still remains far too high at around 20 per cent. Many jobs are also temporary, offering little personal and economic stability going forward.
As well as that Spain’s debt is far higher than that allowed by the EU.
The problem shows no sign of abating due to a huge property crash, leaving the economy on the rocks.
Italy may also quit the Eurozone
More than any other members state, Ireland has watched on with concern as Britain negotiates its EU exit.
At risk is the island’s economy, which is interwoven with Britain’s, and the invisible land borer between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A growing ‘Irexit’ campaign believe Ireland is stronger sticking with Britain outside the EU than losing its biggest trade partner by remaining in the bloc.
Quitting the EU would also reduce the need for a hard land border between the Republic and the North – which will become an EU/UK border once Brexit is officially completed.
The EU is facing a crisis of confidence across the bloc
Like its neighbour Spain, Portugal has been through an economically traumatic time – with slight improvements last year.
Unemployment fell, its deficit was massively reduced and its economy grew slightly in 2016.
However the national debt remains high and another crash could have an atrocious effect on the country’s long term economic health.
Portugal may decide it is better off nursing its growing economy outside the EU on its own terms.
Cyprus did not suffer quite as badly as Greece during the crash but still took an economic beating.
It has responded robustly, however, largely by introducing capital controls and compulsory reforms.
Consumers were the ones to suffer, however, while banks survived. In the Bank of Cyprus, for example, balances of 100,000 euros were automatically converted into shares.
Debt also remains a problems while the number of Cypriots who lack money for things like rent or heating is at around 10 per cent.
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