'COMPLETE NONSENSE' Top economist's fury as he says the euro has RUINED Europe

'COMPLETE NONSENSE' Top economist's fury as he says the euro has RUINED Europe

Roger Bootle said Brussels’ stubbornness over the euro had given rise to intense anti-German sentiment in southern Europe.

The Brexiteer also criticised Ann Pettifor after she mocked those who want Britain to prioritise its own economy ahead of Europe’s.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Pettifor said: “The Europeans have a broader mission. The Europeans have been through two world wars.”

When Mr Bootle retorted “so have we” – Ms Pettifor continued: “We were probably not as harmed as they were.

“They are still traumatised by it still and they want stability, a certain amount of order and peace.

“We don’t share those ambitions and we just want to look after number one and there is something horribly nationalistic about our approach.

“I think it is dangerous in political terms. We are reinvigorating the nationalist right and it bad for us and it is bad for business too.”

A livid Mr Bootle roared back at his fellow economist: “This is complete nonsense.

“There is nothing wrong with trying to look after your own economic affairs, it is perfectly acceptable and it is the way most countries in the world behave.

“Of course we want peace and stability, the question is: what has the Eurpopean Union brought to the table?

“Is this a perfectly functioning organisation?”

Mr Bootle, who is a member of Economists for Brexit, said how on a recent visit to Italy, which along with Greece and Spain is suffering from high levels of youth unemployment, he was struck by the strength of anti-German feelings.

“The euro – which is the EU’s biggest project so far – far from uniting Europe it has set one country against another.”

Ms Pettifor admitted Germany, which dominates Europe politically and economically, had got itself into an “awful position”.

Last week the euro fell to a 20-month low against the dollar following the Italian referendum on constitutional reform.

Mr Bootle has previously stated he believes the euro could be left in tatters if the EU persists with the struggling economy.

Writing in The Telegraph he said: “It is possible that Italy will stumble on within the euro and muddle through its current political impasse. After all, that is what Italy usually does. 

“But my view is that she is more likely to leave the euro within the next year or two. The boost that this would give to Italian competitiveness would see Italian GDP recover and this would prompt other southern countries to leave.”

Published at Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:58:00 +0000