NOBEL Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz predicts Italy will be the first of a slew of countries leaving the eurozone in the next few years as he blames the financial crisis on the EU, the euro and Germany.
The European Union (EU) lacks the decisiveness to undertake needed reforms such as the creation of a banking union involving joint bank deposit guarantees, he told Die Welt newspaper.
Mr Stiglitz, the World Bank’s former chief economist, accused the bloc of lacking solidarity across national boundaries.
He said: “There will still be a euro zone in 10 years, but the question is, what will it look like? It’s very unlikely that it will still have 19 members. It’s difficult to say who will still belong.
“The people in Italy are increasingly disappointed in the euro.
“Italians are starting to realise that Italy doesn’t work in the euro.”
Joseph Stiglitz said Italy will leave the euro soon
The American economist said Germany had already accepted Greece would leave the eurozone, noting that he had advised both Greece and Portugal in the past to exit the single currency.
Concerns about the eurozone have escalated in Germany in recent months amid growing concern about a shift away from austerity in southern Europe, the loose money policies of the European Central Bank and the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party.
Mr Stiglitz blamed the euro and austerity policies in Germany for Europe’s economic malaise.
The break-up of the single currency or the division into a north euro and a south euro were the only realistic options for reviving Europe’s stalled economy, he advised.
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Alix Culbertson is an online news journalist at the Daily Express
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