Brexit won’t kill EU, say ‘Big 3’ leaders
THE leaders of Italy, France and Germany insisted that Britain’s shock decision to quit the European Union would not kill the bloc.
Speaking aboard an aircraft carrier anchored off the Italian island here, one of the cradles of the dream of a united and integrated Europe, the leaders vowed to strengthen the European project following the Brexit vote on June 23.
“Many thought the EU was finished after Brexit but that is not how it is,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on August 22.
Calling out the continent’s eurosceptics, he said it was “easy to complain and find scapegoats”.
The EU “is the answer” to Europe’s problems, for it cemented “peace, prosperity and freedom,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recalled that the EU had been born from some of the “darkest moments” of European history, a reference to World War II.
Echoing Mr Renzi, she said the time had come to “write a better page” in European history.
French President Francois Hollande warned that Europe was faced with a risk of “fragmentation and division” without the EU.
It needed a “new impulse” on three fronts, Mr Hollande said: the economy; defence and security; and ensuring jobs and education opportunities for young people.
The three leaders were speaking ahead of a working dinner aboard the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppi Garibaldi as the sun set over the Naples coast. –
(From left) French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi host a joint press conference aboard the Garibaldi off the Italian island of Ventotene on August 22.