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ITALIAN PM WARNS EUROPE FACES APOCALYPTIC CONSEQUENCES: “We have a week to save the euro”

Italian prime minister Mario Monti has spoken of the potentially disastrous consequences of the collapse of the eurozone. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

“Italy’s prime minister, Mario Monti, has warned of the apocalyptic consequences of failure at next week’s summit of EU leaders, outlining a potential death spiral that could threaten the political and economic future of Europe,” reports the UK Guardian. “The Italian leader is to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the French president, François Hollande, and Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, in the hope that the single currency’s big four countries can pave the way for a breakthrough at next week’s meeting. Speaking to the Guardian and a group of leading European newspapers, Monti said that, without a successful outcome at the summit, ‘there would be progressively greater speculative attacks on individual countries, with harassment of the weaker countries.’ The attacks would be focused not only on those who had failed to respect EU guidelines, but also on those like Italy, which he said had abided by the rules ‘but which carry with them from the past a high debt.’ Monti warned: ‘A large part of Europe would find itself having to continue to put up with very high interest rates that would then impact on the states and also indirectly on firms. This is the direct opposite of what is needed for economic growth.’ Outlining the result of a failure at the talks, Monti said that, faced with creeping economic paralysis, ‘the frustration of the public towards Europe would grow,’ creating a vicious circle.”

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