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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Boris Johnson, Spiegel Interview

From Spiegel International - London Mayor Boris Johnson: 'We Can't Leave Europe, We're Part of the Continent'


SPIEGEL: Would you not regret it if Great Britain left the EU?

Johnson: I don't think it's the only option...I hope our German friends will take us very seriously during this reform process.

SPIEGEL: Germany is not exactly loved on the Continent right now.

Johnson: (German Finance Minister Wolfgang) Schäuble's Grexit plan has not been the most tactful document I have ever seen. It's a fascinating insight into a purist's mind, the thoughts of a man with a clear vision of how Europe should work. Intellectually he is right -- he is saying, you have got to cut your budgets and hand over significant portions of your economy to some German controlled institution in Luxembourg.

SPIEGEL: It's a harsh way of saying, hand over control or you're out of the club.

Johnson: Schäuble was just trying to put the dilemma very clearly to them. If they want continued financial support, it is he who pays the piper who can call the tune.

SPIEGEL: Do you consider a debt haircut to be the right solution?

Johnson: The Greeks should leave the euro, no question. Poor things. And they will leave eventually. If you write off the debt, what do you say to all the other countries that went through the misery? This is one of those problems with no real solution. It's sad.

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