Emmanuel Macron could lead a breakaway group of member-states if the EU refuses to bow to his demands for coronavirus pandemic aid, according to a leading EU expert. The French President has been left frustrated by northern EU member-states, particularly the Netherlands, for refusing to compromise to financial demands from Italy, Spain and France. Professor of European Law Francesco Rizzuto told RT that he could see the EU “fracturing into two or three” different blocs once the pandemic is over.
He pointed to the public opinion in Italy, which is turning against the European Union, adding: “The Italians are completely fed up with the EU.”
The RT host questioned whether French President Emmanuel Macron could lead a shock split in the European bloc.
He said: “What about the unity of the union? Is that at stake? Could we see a break-away group led by France?”
Professor Rizzuto responded: “I think that if the northern states are not careful, we will have a stark division of Europe between north and south.”
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The RT host added: “But what about countries following what Britain has just done and exiting the EU?”
The EU expert said: “It is possible. We are in the realms of speculation. I think they may come up with a last-ditch solution to this but what matters is what comes after.
“The Italians are completely fed up with the European Union. Not only over the closure of the frontiers, as are the Spaniards, but now the EU seems not even willing to help them with the consequences of the coronavirus crisis.
“The Italian government doesn’t want the EU to write off Italy’s past debts, and that is what is really annoying Italy.
“Italy really want help, as do Spain, as do France, with the present crisis. It’s public opinion afterwards, even if the EU agree on aid later today, that will determine the bloc’s future.”
Earlier in the interview, the professor blamed that the deadlock in the EU talks on the defiance of the Netherlands.
He said: “The Germans are now on the same side as the French – it’s actually the Dutch that are holding out.”
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The professor added: “They want real strings attached to using that mechanism whereas the French, the Italians, and the Spanish have said no, the only condition should be its use for health purposes.”
This comes as George Galloway claimed the EU was proving itself “worse than useless” after talks on how to help southern Eurozone countries impacted by the pandemic broke down after 16 hours of discussions.
He accused the leadership in Brussels of leaving member-states like Italy and Spain “to rot” under the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed huge divisions in Europe, where Italy and Spain have accused northern nations – led by Germany and the Netherlands – of not doing enough to help.
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans criticised the Dutch response, warning that “the EU as we know it will not survive this” if the split continued.
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