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    Polish Politicians Warn That Brexit Heralds a 'Chaotic Three-Speed Europe'

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    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)

    Former Polish Deputy Prime Minister Grzegorz Kolodko told Sputnik that he fears Europe will split into three factions after Brexit.

    The UK's decision to leave the European Union in a referendum held on June 23 means more uncertainty for Europe, which still hasn't overcome its recent difficulties, Grzegorz Kolodko, former Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister told Sputnik Poland.

    "At the moment there are more questions than answers, there is a growing feeling of uncertainty while there are a lot of events happening instantaneously, or almost at the same time. The EU still hasn't overcome the migrant crisis, and the economic collapse of Greece has only been postponed," Kolodko said.

    Kolodko is worried by one of the wider implications of Brexit for Europe, the revival of ideas about a Europe divided along lines of development.

    "This threatens to strengthen the idea that Europe can develop at different speeds," Kolodko said, and described three groups which may emerge.

    "Economically strong countries will gather around the axis of the French and German economies, with a single currency, the euro. The second, weaker group, unites countries in the south of the EU, from Portugal to Greece."

    "The third group is the so-called post-socialist countries, three of which are the Baltic countries that were part of the Soviet Union. These three countries, plus Slovakia and Slovenia, have already entered the Eurozone, the others, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, still have their own currencies," Kolodko explained.

    The academic and former politician thinks reports that Russia sees Brexit as a beneficial development are far-fetched. 

    In an interconnected world, Russia is as affected as anybody by the economic uncertainty the UK's referendum has unleashed, Kolodko said.

    "The waves (of uncertainty) in relation to trade, investment, changing currency exchange rates – these all reach Russia, one way or another."

    Kolodko's reflections on the future of Europe echo those made by former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski on Friday, who warned that Europe will descend into "chaos" because of a "three-speed Europe."

    Kwasniewski shared his view that the more developed, founding EU members in Western Europe – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands – will quicken their process of integration.

    He said that other members of the Euro zone will be in the second tier, while EU members like Poland that still have their own currencies will integrate even more slowly.

    "Within the next three to five years we will have chaos in Europe," Kwasniewski said, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)


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