Soros: European Union Remains at Risk of Collapse

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 07:22 PM

By Dan Weil

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The euro crisis may be over, but Europe is still in a precarious state, says hedge fund legend George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management.

"The system that emerged from the crisis is far from satisfactory," he said in a speech at an economic conference in Kiel, Germany, Monday.

"I call it a far-from-equilibrium situation. The euro crisis has already transformed the European Union into something radically different from what was originally intended."

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . .

The European Union was supposed to comprise a voluntary association of equal states that would give up a portion of their governing power for the common welfare, Soros said.

Instead, "it has turned into a relationship between creditors and debtors that is by its nature compulsory and unequal," he said.

"When a debtor country gets into difficulties the creditor countries gain the upper hand. The rules they have established merely perpetuate this state of affairs."

This arrangement "has the potential of destroying the European Union altogether," Soros said. "Only the creditors are in a position to prevent this outcome, but they do not seem to show any inclination to do so."

In a recent speech, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde acknowledged that the eurozone has more work to do in melding its economies, though her message was less dire than Soros'.

"We very much think of the euro area as a beautiful ship that has been pampered for the soft seas, but not completely finished for rough waters," Lagarde said according to The Wall Street Journal.

"If you don't have a completely finished ship and you start sailing in rough waters, it's as if you had a wreck."

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . .

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Europe Sharing Fiscal Risks Would Prevent Crises, IMF Staff Says

Europe's Factories Grow as China's Stabilize

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