EU on the brink: ‘Tragic reality’ as Brussels bloc ‘may not survive’ huge challenges ahead

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Mr Soros offered his gloomy prognosis in an interview with a Dutch magazine in which he offered advice to Brussels about how it could maintain its AAA credit rating and finance its COVID-19 recovery package. Specifically, he is pushing for a system of perpetual bonds – or consols, as they are known in the UK and US, arguing it would offer a credible alternative to raising the EU budget, and would provide relief funds to help countries hit hard by COVID-19, such as Italy and Spain.

He said: “Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures.

“Perpetual bonds or consols are such a measure.

“They should not even be considered in normal times.

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This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality

George Soros

“But if the EU is unable to consider it now, it may not be able to survive the challenges it currently confronts.

“This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality.”

Urging eurocrats not to underestimate the seriousness of the situation, Mr Soros added: “The coronavirus and climate change are threatening not only people’s lives but the survival of our civilisation.

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“The European Union is particularly vulnerable because it is based on the rule of law and the wheels of justice turn proverbially slowly.

“By contrast, the coronavirus moves very fast and in unpredictable ways.”

Mr Soros also had a message for the so-called Hanseatic countries, such as the Netherlands, who want to keep their EU budget contributions to a minimum.

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He said: “They are now faced with a choice: they can continue opposing consols and accept a doubling of the budget or they can become enthusiastic supporters of consols and, if they succeed, increase their contribution to the budget by five percent.

“I urge the Hanseatic League and the Dutch public to ponder which alternative is preferable.”

Asked how long the impact of the pandemic would be felt, he added: “Longer than most people think.

“One of the problems is that the virus itself is rapidly evolving and changing the way it attacks human organs.

“This will make it much harder to develop a reliable vaccine.”

Speaking earlier this week about Mr Soros’ ideas, former German MEP and economist Hans-Olaf Henkel told “Soros’ idea of eternal European loans may work on a national basis like they did in the UK and in the US in World War 1, but they would not work on a European level.

“Not only would we be confronted with the same moral hazard such as in the case of euro- or coronabonds, they would also be limited to the eurozone hence create a new border within Europe.

“On one side are those with solidarity for Italy like Germany.

“On the other are those without like Denmark or Sweden or Poland, none of them being in the eurozone.”

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