Euro Crisis: Nick Clegg Warns Eurozone Turmoil Could Lead To Rise In Extremism And Xenophobia

PA/Huffington Post UK

Nick Clegg Racism

Nick Clegg has warned that the continued eurozone crisis could lead to a rise in political extremism and xenophobia in Europe.

In an interview with Der Spiegel ahead of a visit to Berlin this week, the Liberal Democrat leader hit out at a lack of leadership on the eurozone crisis, cautioning that there could be an increase in extremism unless it was addressed.

He said: “This cannot carry on, because the combination of economic insecurity and political paralysis, we know this from the history of our continent, is the ideal recipe for an increase in extremism and xenophobia.”

The deputy prime minister added that arguments in the UK over whether the Britain should join the eurozone would be “like a small side show compared to the rise of political extremism” in the coming years.

It is a stark assessment from Clegg, who has been a long-term advocate of the European project.

“I, as a passionate Liberal and pro-European, think it would be a disaster if a lack of grip and a lack of a comprehensive solution were to lead to a push towards the extreme Right or the extreme Left,” Clegg said.

He added: “If the eurozone does not come up with a comprehensive vision of its own future pretty soon – in three, four, five years time – we will have a whole range of nationalistic, extremist, xenophobic and populist movements increasing across Europe.”

In October last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a similarly bleak assessment, warning that if the “euro fails, Europe fails”.

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