There is an more chatter of the Eurozone breaking up as we kick off 2019, with the internal pressures growing.
Italian politicians have just signed off on a budget after the European Commission outrageously vetoed what was originally put on the table by the Eurosceptic, anti-establishment government there. EU sanctions were being threatened.
Not hard to see then why the Centre for Economics and Business Research have made the following call on the Euro for 2019 then: “The year when the internal contradictions of the Euro force the EU either to integrate economically or to risk the break up of the Eurozone is coming up – it is possible to defer the confrontation for a year or two but the boil will have to be lanced at some point since the Italians have clearly reached the point of austerity fatigue.”
As it happens, a Eurozone budget was agreed in December, led by a push from the French. As one official explained of the move: “If you start by saying I want a trillion-Euro budget that does everything, when people are already against the whole idea, then you’ll never get anywhere.”
The former Chief Economist for the European Central Bank, Otmar Issing, also ended 2018 by talking about countries potentially exiting from the Euro, saying: “So far, there is no provision for a country’s exit from the monetary union – the accession is considered irreversible, ‘eternal’ so to speak.
“If conflicts become extreme because of the misconduct of one country, or even several countries, then the issue of withdrawal can no longer be taboo.”
Whilst Brexit Britain is chartering its future as an independent nation outside of the EU, things in Brussels are far from stable. The break-up of the Eurozone looks to be on the cards, as those driving the EU project look to increasingly centralise money, power and control. Something has got to give.