Euro destroying EU, and Germany should save it: Soros

Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:41pm EDT
 
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By Manuela Badawy and Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The European Union could be destroyed by the "nightmare" euro crisis, and Germany needs to take the responsibility to save the common currency, billionaire fund manager George Soros said on Monday

Soros, who made his mark as an investor on a big bet against the British pound in 1992, said the other alternative is for Germany -- the euro zone's biggest economy -- to simply leave the 17-member currency bloc.

The crisis "is pushing the EU into a lasting depression, and it is entirely self-created," said Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management.

"There is a real danger of the euro destroying the European Union," he said. "The way to escape it is for Germany to accept ... greater commitment to helping not only its interests but the interests of the debtor countries, and playing the role of the benevolent hegemon."

Germany should act as the leader of the union in the same that the United States did for the free world after World War Two, Soros said at a luncheon hosted by the National Association for Business Economics.

Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations and a founding sponsor of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, said Germany needs to step up to save the euro and the euro bond plan because "if it successful, it would cost very little, but if it fails, it would drag down Germany."

Issuing euro bonds would be a way to share risk across the euro zone.

Soros floated another solution to the more than two-year-old crisis: let Germany leave the euro. "The problem would disappear in thin air," as the value of the euro declines and yields on the bonds of debtor countries adjust, he said.   Continued...

 
Soros Fund Management Chairman George Soros waits to deliver a speech at the Central European University in Budapest, November 3, 2011. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo