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Eurozone considers Trump ‘a risk’

Eurogroup’s President Jeroen Dijsselbloem (R) attends a meeting at the European Council in Brussels, January 26, 2017.

The eurozone’s top official has voiced concern about US President Donald Trump’s policies but said that soul-searching as a result of the potential loss of American partnership could lead to the strengthening of the countries using the single currency, Press TV reports.

Eurogroup’s President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Thursday that, “There are risks [to the group] from inside relating to political instability or possible instability and risk from the outside relating to new government in the US and the Brexit.”

Ted Malloch, Trump’s likely choice as the US’s envoy to the European Union (EU), warned this week that the currency “could collapse” in the next 18 months. The remark has upset eurozone finance ministers, who gathered for talks in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Thursday.

‘Maybe that’s what Europe needs’

“I’ve made my mind up that in the coming years we are on our own, which may be a good thing,” said Dijsselbloem, who is also the Netherlands’ finance minister.

“Maybe that’s what Europe needs — to really work together in a better and more productive way, to sort out its own problems, to strengthen its own economic balance, its own defense situation,” he said.

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici also dismissed Malloch’s remarks, saying, “The euro is not going to collapse in 18 months, in 10 years, 20 years.”

Moscovici, a former French finance minister, said the single currency “is a major factor of unity among” the EU members.

The new US president has formerly praised Britain’s vote to leave the EU, and called for reforming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance bringing together many of the countries in Europe.

Trump has said NATO is “obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago” and that “because it wasn’t taking care of terror.”

Most EU officials have been disconcerted by the remarks of the US president, who has never served in a government or diplomatic post. The officials intend to keep what they see as European unity by preventing other member states from leaving the bloc or the eurozone.

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