Euro could collapse and Europe unravel: French minister

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European single currency could break up and Europe itself unravel if political leaders fail to tackle the region's debt crisis, France's minister for European affairs warned Thursday.

"The situation is serious... the euro can explode and Europe unravel", Jean Leonetti told France's Canal Plus television, hours ahead of what is being seen as a crucial European summit on the issue in Brussels.

He said that if possible all 27 members of the European Union should be involved in talks on tackling the debt crisis but that non-eurozone members might have to be excluded.

"When there are some in the 27 who say 'I'm not interested in what you are talking about because I never want to join the euro'," like Britain for example, "this should not cause paralysis," he said.

The most difficult point of contention at the summit would be "discipline," he said, a reference to France and Germany's efforts to force other eurozone members to accept legal limits on their budget deficits and automatic sanctions for countries who break the rules.

Leonetti also criticised credit rating agencies, who have warned eurozone nations of downgrades if they fail to deal with the crisis.

"They annoy me a bit.... It is not for the credit agencies to be involved in politics, that is for the people and the people's representatives," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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