Soros to Germany: Put Up or Get Out of Eurozone

Billionaire investor says euro poor could be stronger without Germany
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2012 8:15 AM CDT
Soros to Germany: Put Up or Get Out of Eurozone
George Soros, here in a Sept. 7, 2010, file photo, says Germany should leave the euro if it isn't willing to lead.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – If Germany isn't going to take the lead—meaning take on weaker countries' debts and relax austerity demands—George Soros thinks it should just get out of the eurozone altogether, reports Reuters. Without Germany, Soros says the rest of Europe could service their debts more cheaply and be more competitive with exports. But with Germany keeping costs in Europe high and insisting on austerity for the rest of Europe, the continent faces a depression and growing social turmoil.

"Germany should either lead in developing a growth policy, political union and burden-sharing, accept the cost of leadership, or leave through an amicable arrangement," said Soros. Soros said the new European Central Bank bond-buying program would give Europe more time to fix its problems, but that it's not enough. He also compared the effects of Germany's emphasis on austerity to the "lost decade" that crippled Central America in the 1980s. "This policy is pushing Europe into a depression which is going to last five or 10 years," he said. (Read more George Soros stories.)

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