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Opinion

Polish Finance Minister: "War In Ten Years" If Euro Rescue Fails

by | Sunday, 18th September 2011

Born into a Polish exile family living in London, Former Tory Party member Jan Vincent-Rostowski is currently Finance Minster of Poland. He is utterly pro-Euro and extremely keen to see Poland join the Euro as soon as possible.

Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg on the 14th of this month, and making reference to a recent UBS report entitled "Euro Break Up - The Consequences", he stated:

There is no doubt we are in danger. Europe is in danger.

He warned of a doubling of unemployment within two years, "even in the richest countries", and finished his speech by recalling his recent conversation with an old friend who is head of a major bank:

We were talking about the crisis in the Eurozone. He told me 'You know, after all these political shocks, economic shocks, it is very rare indeed that in the next 10 years we could avoid a war.' A war ladies and gentlemen. I am really thinking about obtaining a green card for my kids in the United States.

Speaking to reporters later. he stated he had chosen his words "in a very careful way", and that the prospect of war is not likely:

within a four-year legislative time frame.... Not in the months ahead, but maybe over a 10-year time frame, this could place us in a context that is almost unimaginable at the moment.... It is up to all of us Europeans to take the lessons of an anecdote of that kind to ensure the errors of the past do not come back to haunt us.

The UBS report that Vincent-Rostowski was referring to was issued in early September and threatens that there will be "authoritarian or military government, or civil war" if the Euro zone and its bankrupt banks are not bailed out. "Civil" war?

Some quotes from the report:

It is also worth observing that almost no modern fiat currency monetary unions have broken up without some form of authoritarian or military government, or civil war.

If Germany were to leave [the euro system], we believe the cost to be around EUR6,000 to EUR8,000 for every German adult and child in the first year, and a range of EUR3,500 to EUR4,500 per person per year thereafter. That is the equivalent of 20% to 25% of GDP in the first year. In comparison, the cost of bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal entirely in the wake of the default of those countries would be a little over EUR1,000 per person, in a single hit ...

Past instances of monetary union break-ups have tended to produce one of two results. Either there was a more authoritarian government response to contain or repress the social disorder (a scenario that tended to require a change from democratic to authoritarian or military government), or alternatively, the social disorder worked with existing fault lines in society to divide the country, spilling over into civil war.