The single currency is “irreversible” and freedom of movement within the EU a “basic principle” the European Commission President has said.
Jean Claude Juncker told an audience in Belgium that an ailing Greece must stay in the eurozone or “the Anglo Saxon world” will break the single currency up, euractiv reports.
Speaking at the Catholic University of Leuven on Monday, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg said that Britain was an existential threat to the 19 member club.
Speaking in French at the Flemish university, Mr Juncker said that economic and monetary union must be “irreversible”.
“The world wants to know which way we are going,” he said. “We should make sure everyone understands that the economic and monetary union is irreversible, that the euro is a currency that is here to stay, which is not going to be abolished or suspended.”
And the top eurocrat said he had told the former Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, much the same thing earlier in the day.
“Grexit is not an option. If Greece would accept it, if the others would accept it, that the country would exit the zone of security and prosperity constituted by the eurozone, we would be exposed to huge danger, because the Anglo-Saxon world would do everything to try to decompose, at a regular rhythm, by (the) sale, apartment by apartment, of the eurozone,” he said.
But he tried to cover up his undemocratic threats by saying it was necessary for the good of the Greek people.
“My concern is not the Greek government. My concern is the Greek people. We don’t have the right to deal with the Greek people as if they were the neglected part of Europe,” he said.
“The Greek people have great dignity. This is a great nation, although being from time to time a weak state, and we have to show solidarity with the Greeks. And the [present] Greek government has to know that at the level of the eurozone, we have to deal with 19 democracies, not only with one, not only with Greek democracy,” he said in a veiled reference to the Syriza government.
Mr Juncker and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have been on opposite sides since the latter was elected as the government of Greece on a platform of anti austerity imposed by the Troika in order for their GDP debt ratio to be reduced despite no inward investment into the country.
The Commission President also commented on the UK’s situation within the Union, saying he wanted a “fair deal” for Britain but that the country “is not in a situation to impose its exclusive agenda to all the other member states of Europe.”
But referring to the debate raging in Britain about uncontrolled immigration he said he was “a strong defender of the freedom of movement of workers,” adding:
“This is a basic principle of the EU laid down in the Treaty of Rome. So the British are kindly invited to present a list of their requests, we’ll take this under exam, with friendly attention, and then we will see. I don’t want Britain to leave the EU, but I don’t want the EU to follow an exclusive British commandership.”