Brexit supporting economist and professor, Dr Graham Gudgin, has revealed the European Union’s biggest “mistake”. It comes as voters across the continent will head to the polls starting on Thursday until Sunday, in the 2019 European elections. Speaking to France 24, Mr Gudgin said: “I think there is a deep discontent obviously in many parts of Europe, of the EU. Things haven’t been going well.
“Formation of the euro I think was a mistake, it was a step too far, too early and it has caused a great deal of harm, patricianly in southern Europe, where a lot of the discontent is.
“The migration issue, of course, has caused discontent in eastern Europe.
“I think there is a lot of support now for a looser Europe, just the opposite of what President Macron seems to want.
“If we could have a looser arrangement, the collaboration between sovereign states, I think the UK would be happy to sign up to that and keep with it.
Formation of the euro I think was a mistake, it was a step too far
Dr Graham Gudgin
“We know several of the eastern European states are in favour of that, and perhaps Italy as well.”
The euro came into existence in January 1999, only used for accounting purposes and electronic payments, before coins and banknotes were later adopted in January 2002, with 12 EU countries signing up.
The euro is officially the currency of 19 countries in the bloc today, including Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, and France.
In the UK the Brexit Party have surged in the polls ahead of the European elections, and are expected to secure more than a third of the vote.
Some experts have suggested the European Parliament election results could lead to a major impact on the bloc.
Pieter Cleppe, of the Open Europe think-tank, said: “Up to one-third of European Parliament seats are projected to go to politicians that can be broadly defined as ‘eurosceptics’, up from around one in four in 2014.
“There are two kinds of eurosceptics: those trying to reform the EU into a more modest inter-governmental arrangement, focused on scrapping barriers to trade between countries, and those trying to rip up everything and resurrect border checks and economic protectionism.
“The warning for the EU should be clear: if it continues to ignore constructive criticism and instead goes on trying to scrap national vetoes, for example over taxation or foreign policy, it will fuel the popularity of those keen to throw away the baby with the bathwater.”
Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti suggested a surge in populist membership of the European Parliament could make Brussels “aware” rules need to change and the bloc should be “more open”.
Speaking to Euronews, Mr Monti said: “I would not expect dramatic changes in the community’s economic policies but by becoming stronger at the national level in several countries, they will be able to oppose more obstacles, more hindrances against European rules to the smooth functioning of the single market.
“As to the fiscal rules, they could contribute to giving the awareness that some of these rules do have to be changed.
“I hope the final synthesis between populist pressures and the more conservative forces will keep the instruments for fiscal discipline in Europe but will become selectively more open, permissive and even encouraging vis à vis public investment at the national level because that is needed for growth.”
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