Europe in 'existential crisis': French foreign minister

30th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday that the financial crisis ravaging Europe's debt-ridden economies had called the European Union's very survival into question.

"It's an existential crisis for Europe," Juppe said, in an interview with the news weekly L'Express that raised the stark prospect of a return to violent conflict on the troubled continent.

"This could call into question all that we have created, not only in the 20 years since the Maastricht Treaty, but since the foundation of the European community," he warned.

Juppe said the struggles of the 17-nation eurozone's member states to fund their sovereign debt could bring down the single currency, and that this would be "the explosion of the European Union itself."

"In that eventuality, everything becomes possible, even the worst. We have flattered ourselves for decades that we have eradicated the danger of conflict inside our continent, but let's not be too sure," he said.

Juppe said the threat of a return to violent nationalism made it all the more necessary than ever to protect the euro and the European project, adding: "We've gone too far to not go further."

European leaders are to hold a summit on December 8 and 9 to try to find a way out of the crisis, which has seen eurozone member states facing soaring borrowing costs amid fears their debts are unmanageable.

© 2011 AFP

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