Farage promises Italy will leave the EU – explosive interview sends panic through Brussels
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The coronavirus crisis has put the weakening EU under strain and there is fury in Italy over the way it said Rome was abandoned by its European partners during the pandemic. And now Brexit Party leader Mr Farage warns it is only a matter of time before Italy cuts ties with the EU.
In an interview with affaritaliani.it, Mr Farage said: “After the COVID-19 emergency, western countries’ politics are going through a phase of profound instability.
“What is certain is that any aid measure from Brussels to solve the Italian economic crisis will not bring stability.
“I don’t know when exactly, I don’t know at what point, certainly not tonight, but in the end, Italy will leave the European Union as we did.
“It might take years, but it will happen.”
Mr Farage went on to claim being part of the EU and the single currency “does not bring any benefit to your country”.
Despite Mr Farage’s view Italy will be the next country to leave, he does not think the current Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, will be the one to do it.
He said: “Not at all. It will be another person, but the road is already clear.”
Italy was one of the worst hit countries during the outbreak of COVID-19 and to date, more than 34,000 people have died due to the deadly virus.
Economist have warned of catastrophic economic effects for the already heavily indebted country.
This week, European Commission president Ursula von Der Leyen demanded Italy tackles overdue reforms after receiving millions from the European Reconstruction Fund.
Ms von der Leyen announced the EU would not “borrow money” from their children to “spend more today”.
She said: “We, the EU, are borrowing money from our children for the first time.
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“So today’s investments must bear fruit for our children.
“We will not simply borrow money from our children just to spend more today, as our Member States sometimes did.”
Fears that Italy would follow the UK and leave the EU were already raised during the deadly crisis.
Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, previously warned without the UK and Italy, there will no longer be a “strong Europe”.
He told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “Brexit is now underway.
“I still cannot imagine a strong Europe without the United Kingdom, but without Italy, little remains of the original idea.
“The Treaty of Rome was the basis of the EU.
“Italy is the cultural and historical centre of Europe.”
He noted how the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 has “deeply affected and injured Italy”.
Mr Soeder said: “What happens in Italy affects all of us.
“Therefore, it is better to help with reason and wisdom instead of walking away and contemplating that ruins of Europe.
“This is a historic turning point in Europe. We can’t fail.”
He said the “psychological impact” of late or poor help from the EU towards Italy during the pandemic should not be underestimated as there is a “risk of a second Brexit”.
Mr Soeder added: “Europe without Italy or Spain is no longer Europe as we know it, so the EU would no longer make sense.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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