EU finance ministers warn of “economic mayhem” if UK leaves EU

BRUSSELS, June 16 (KUNA) — European Union finance ministers warned Thursday of the political and economic ramifications for the whole world if the UK votes next week to leave the EU.
Alexander Stubb, Minister of Finance of Finland, speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting of the 19-member Eurogroup in Luxembourg today, said “if the UK leaves the EU there will be a lot of financial market turbulence in the short term.” “And in the long term we will be looking at a weaker UK and weaker EU in terms of security, foreign and economic perspectives, he said, “There are seven days left and anything can happen,” he said if the UK votes in the 23 June referendum to leave the EU “it will have ramifications for the whole world. There will be economic mayhem.” The Eurogroup is expected to discuss the UK referendum in its meeting later today.
On his part, Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, said, “our conviction is clear on that the UK is stronger in the EU and that the EU is stronger with the UK. I hope we will be able to work together towards a Europe that is moving forward.” He said today’s meeting of the Eurogroup is expected to be a short one with good news for Greece.
“The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Board of Governors just decided the immediate disbursement of euro 7.5 billon to Greece and conclude the first review. It is a breadth of oxygen for the economy,” he added. Jorg Schelling, Minister for Finance of Austria said “first of all, we all believe in a clear and positive outcome of the referendum, but we obviously think about it (Brexit) because this would have a negative impact on the European stock market.” “The UK in not a member of the Eurogroup but still this would be an incredible setback for Europe and we need to avoid this and we are optimistic in this regard,” he said.
Schelling said “of course there are plans in case of the UK leaving the EU, but I don’t think it makes any sense to make them public because this could be counterproductive.” “The markets are already reacting to this and if we look at the last few days in the stock market, we can witness tension,” he added. Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance of Ireland, said “we want the UK to stay in Europe. We have had a very close relationship over the years, and for hundreds of years we have had a common travel area.” “We think that a strong United Kingdom with its strong economy gives balance to Europe. Finally, there is the trade and economy reasons: they are our biggest trading partner. If there were a softening of the value of sterling after brexit, that would affect our common trade aspects,” he added.
Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg, said “we need to wait until the UK population speaks their minds, we cannot foresee anything. However, due to the fact that no country has ever left the EU, we don’t have any recipes.” “I wish that the UK would stay in the EU, it would be good for all of us. If brexit should win, it would be bad for Europe and very bad for the UK. But now it is the UK population’s choice,” he added. (end) nk.rk