Coming from the man who almost single-handedly broke the British Sterling Pound and is a convicted criminal in France:
Billionaire speculator cautions over job losses but says Europe could still be pulled apart by deflation and slow growth
Billionaire speculator George Soros on Wednesday waded into the political row about Britain’s membership of the EU with a warning that a decision to quit would lead to an exodus of foreign-owned companies.
Soros said the argument for Britain remaining part of the EU could be summed up in one word – jobs – as he outlined his concerns that Europe could be pulled apart by decades of slow growth and Japanese-style deflation.
The man who helped to force the pound out of the exchange rate mechanism on Black Wednesday in 1992 stressed that Britain had the best of all worlds by being part of the EU but not the euro.
Asked about the potential consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, Soros said: “I will leave it to the British business community, particularly the multinationals that set up factories here as an entry point into the common market, to explain to the public what they stand to lose. But in one word – jobs.”
But despite his insistence that Britain would be damaged by leaving the EU, he expressed concerns that Europe might not survive a long period of stagnation. Blaming Germany for the EU’s predicament, Soros said it was possible for a country such as Japan to cope with prolonged periods of stagnation, but not for an incomplete association of nations.
Soros said he had abandoned his idea that the euro should split into two – a stronger, northern euro led by Germany, and a weaker, southern euro led by France. Germany, he said, had ensured the future of the euro, but without solving any of the underlying problems.
“Germany did the minimum to ensure that [the euro’s survival]. Unfortunately it was only the minimum.
“Germany has fulfilled my worst expectations. It has already transformed the EU from what it was meant to be – a voluntary association of equal and sovereign states that sacrificed part of their sovereignty the common good – into something radically different: a creditor-debtor relationship where the debtors have trouble meeting their obligations. That has created a two-tier Europe with two classes of members.
“The financial and economic policies Germany is advocating and imposing on Europe are the wrong policies. It is a counter-productive policy – austerity in a time of deflation.”
Full article: George Soros warns British EU exit would trigger foreign company exodus (The Guardian)