The coronavirus crisis is affecting the European Union on multiple levels. The union is in complete disarray economically, socially, and politically. As the block plunges into recession, anti-EU and anti-Euro sentiment is continuing to grow rapidly.
The ground zero for this sentiment is Italy. For almost a decade, Italy has been on the edge of facing a similar crisis to that of Greece. This has mainly been due to the large deficits produced by the right-wing Berlusconi governments. Since 2018, anti-establishment and anti-EU sentiment in Italy continues to grow, with anti-EU populists now making up a majority of the Italian parliament. Berlusconi’s party is now polling at 6%, while former centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s party continues to barely make the polling threshold needed to enter parliament. When the coronavirus crisis hit, right-wing populists such as Matteo Salvini and Georgia Meloni viciously went after the Euro, pushing for a return to an Italian currency to better handle the crisis. They also criticized the European Union as a whole for its late response to the coronavirus in Italy, which forced the government to turn to aid from Russia.
Their push seems to be working. According to a poll published by Tecne, 47% of Italians support leaving the Eurozone and 46% support leaving the European Union altogether. To compare, only 41% of those polled supported remaining in the union.
Italy, however, isn’t the only nation in Europe where Europskepticism is on the rise. A recent poll suggests nearly 60% of France has no trust in Brussels, up 10 points since the election of Emanuel Macron. This comes as Macron faces increased pressure to resign, this time coming from the left as 10 of his party’s MPs have switched parties. Macron, a former Rothschild banker, often dubbed as a “puppet of the big banks”, has slowly been losing control of his country. As the Yellow Vest protests are starting to revive, the president is also being faced by migrant riots. Time will tell how long Macron can hold on. Recent polling suggests that he could be ousted in the next election by the far-right Marine le Pen.
As the union struggles to hold on economically, the idea of issuing Eurobonds is being seen as an option to satisfy Italy. That option, however, may be off the table as a German court recently declared it unconstitutional. Merkel has since announced she opposes the plan.
George Soros has came out in support for the Eurobond program: “A 1 trillion-euro bond would cost 5 billion euros a year, assuming an interest rate of 0.5%. The consols would not need to be sold all at once; they could be issued in tranches and they would be snatched up by long-term investors like life insurance companies.” The move would add $1 trillion of debt to the European Union as a whole, as if Europe didn’t have enough debt.
Along with Soros, Macron has announced his support for the plan. Unlike Merkel, who at times will turn on the World Order in favor of the interests of her own nation, Macron almost always carries out the interests of those who put him in power. Despite support from Macron, the move seems more and more unlikely as Merkel has not backed down in her opposition to the plan.
Will economic troubles lead to a collapse in the union? George Soros seems to think so. “If the EU is unable to consider it now [Eurobonds], it may not be able to survive the challenges it currently confronts… This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality.”
With globalist leaders such as Macron and Italian Prime Minister Conte on the edge of losing power to the far-right, economic troubles for the block may trigger the collapse of both the European Union along with the establishment governments within the block. Time will tell. However, since one of the main architects of the union already echos this sentiment, we may already know the answer.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.