Juncker: If Greece leaves, An­glo-Sax­ons will try to break up eu­ro­zone

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean Claude Juncker said that if Greece left the sin­gle cur­rency area, the “An­glo-Saxon world” would try ev­ery­thing to break it up.

Speak­ing at the KUL, the Catholic Uni­ver­sity of Leu­ven on Mon­day on the oc­ca­sion of the launch of the Wil­fred Martens Fund, Juncker made it clear that a ‘Grexit’ was not an op­tion, be­cause it would be an ex­is­ten­tial threat to the 19-mem­ber eco­nomic and mon­e­tary union.

Juncker, who chose French to de­liver speech at the Flem­ish uni­ver­sity, said:

“The world wants to know which way we are go­ing. We should make sure that ev­ery­one un­der­stands that the eco­nomic and mon­e­tary union is ir­re­versible, that the euro is a cur­rency that is here to stay, which is not go­ing to be abol­ished or suspended.”

Juncker added that he had dis­cussed the is­sue the same day with for­mer Greek Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras, who was also present at the event.

“Grexit is not an op­tion. If Greece would ac­cept it, if the oth­ers would ac­cept it, that the coun­try would exit the zone

his

40-minute of se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity con­sti­tuted by the eu­ro­zone, we would be ex­posed to huge dan­ger, be­cause the An­glo-Saxon world would do ev­ery­thing to try to de­com­pose, at a regular rhythm, by (the) sale, apart­ment by apart­ment, of the eu­ro­zone,” he said.

Later, in the Q&A ses­sion, Juncker re­turned to the is­sue, speak­ing this time in English.

“We have to know that Greece was mis­be­hav­ing in the past, that the gov­ern­ment of Mr. Sa­ma­ras was do­ing the right things, that those who were con­test­ing th­ese right things won the elec­tions. Now they are con­fronted with their elec­tion prom­ises, and we have to deal with that,” he said, re­fer­ring of the left­ist gov­ern­ment of Alexis Tsipras.

“My con­cern is not the Greek gov­ern­ment. My con­cern is the Greek peo­ple. We don’t have the right to deal with the Greek peo­ple as if they were the ne­glected part of Europe. The Greek peo­ple have great dig­nity. This is a great na­tion, although be­ing from time to time a weak state, and we have to show sol­i­dar­ity with the Greeks. And the [present] Greek gov­ern­ment has to know that at the level of the eu­ro­zone, we have to deal with 19 democ­ra­cies, not only with one, not only with Greek democ­racy,” he said.

One of the ques­tions re­ferred to the UK, and the push of the present gov­ern­ment to rene­go­ti­ate its sta­tus in the EU.

“I want a fair deal with Bri­tain, but Bri­tain is not in a sit­u­a­tion to im­pose its ex­clu­sive agenda to all the other mem­ber states of Europe”, Juncker said.

“I’m a strong de­fender of the free­dom of move­ment of work­ers”, he con­tin­ued, al­lud­ing to the rhetoric against work­ers from the Eastern Euro­pean coun­tries in the UK . He added:

“This is a ba­sic prin­ci­ple of the EU laid down in the Treaty of Rome. So the Bri­tish are kindly in­vited to present a list of their re­quests, we’ll take this un­der exam, with friendly at­ten­tion, and then we will see. I don’t want Bri­tain to leave the EU, but I don’t want the EU to fol­low an ex­clu­sive Bri­tish com­man­der­ship.”

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