In his State of the Union speech, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker laid out his plan to impose a single currency on all the 28 EU member states. Presently only 19 members of the EU have introduced the euro as their official currency. Juncker also called for a more centralized union with its own ‘European finance minister’ and ‘European monetary fund." He “wants to make the euro compulsory throughout the European Union, including in poorer eastern countries,” the British newspaper Daily Express noted.
The EU Chief’s statements come at a time when several eurozone countries face severe economic and social crises, often a direct result of fiscal imbalances caused from a single European currency. The youth unemployment in Greece, Spain and Italy ranges between 40 and 50 percent. Despite the rescue packages worth more than € 200 billion, the Greek economy is still teetering on the verge of total bankruptcy.
German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle covered the European Commission President’s State of the Union speech given at the EU Parliament:
The Commission chief endorsed key reforms to Europe's economic and monetary union, namely the creation of a eurozone finance minister and a European monetary fund.
Juncker's proposal could be music to the ears of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has argued that the euro needs its own, stronger institutions to prevent another debt crisis. However, the proposal will likely be met with tepid reactions in Berlin, which has largely dismissed reform calls for the common currency.
The Commission chief said the new finance minister role would combine the roles of EU commissioner and the head of the Eurogroup.
Juncker also endorsed an EU-wide adoption of the euro currency. Denmark and Sweden, who in referendums both rejected the euro, would be exempt.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who was in the EU parliament during the State of the Union speech in his capacity as the British MEP, lambasted Juncker’s proposal to expand the powers of the EU without consulting the people, comparing the EU to the Communist Soviet Union.
“Your proposals are reminiscent of regimes of old,” Farage told Juncker. “Indeed, the way you are treating Poland and Hungary already must remind them of living under the Soviet Communists with your attempts to tell them how they should run their own countries. All I can say is: thank God we are leaving! You've learned nothing from Brexit.”
Echoing Mike Tyson’s famous quote that “everyone has a plan until they get punched on the face,” Farage warned the EU leader of the coming popular backlash from the European people, saying “Every plan changes on first contact with the enemy.”
Considering the mass migration from Middle East and North Africa driven by EU’s open borders policy, and eurozone’s chronic currency crisis, the grant expansion plan tabled by the EU chief sounds more like an invitation to a collective suicide pact.