EU officials have repeatedly warned that tough sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with its military operation in Ukraine are causing Europe more damage, and there is growing fear in the countries of the bloc that the continent could plunge into the worst financial crisis in its history.
Brussels has reacted harshly to President Vladimir Putin’s war plans by unleashing a torrent of sanctions on Russia that were supposed to weaken that country’s economy and completely thwart its special operation in Ukraine. However, these measures have not helped contain Putin, and now many fear that he may soon unleash his own political war against the European Union in retaliation. Hundreds of millions of Europeans face a harsh winter, while the authorities are urging them to save gas, fearing that Putin may completely cut off supplies to the continent.
EU leaders say the move is “politically motivated.” Meanwhile, supplies of Russian gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline are rapidly declining, and at the moment, pumping is only one-fifth of the pipeline’s capacity.
Moreover, in July inflation in the Eurozone rose to 8.9% (in June it was 8.6%), and earlier this month, the euro equaled the value of the dollar for the first time in more than 20 years.
Charles-Henri Gallois, president of Generation Frexit France, warned that EU sanctions against Russia are backfiring and that a recession in the eurozone is now “obvious.”
In an interview with the Daily Express, he noted the following: “Some European countries, such as Germany and Italy, are heavily dependent on Russian gas, and it cannot be simply replaced.”
“Other countries, including France, are also suffering from a shortage of Russian oil supplies.”
“Energy used to be cheaper and supply contracts were in euros. But now we have to buy the same oil through India or Saudi Arabia with a premium and in dollars. As the euro falls, it becomes more and more expensive.”
“It’s pretty hypocritical because the same goes for gas. You can’t just replace Russian oil. We don’t have the capacity or the equivalent.”
“Economic sanctions are hurting Europe more than Russia. The recession is clear.”
Gallois, who is one of the leading activists for France’s exit from the European Union, said it was “a mistake to save the euro.” According to him, the platform on which the euro was based is destroyed, and the European currency “will die sooner or later.”
Gallois called the anti-Russian sanctions “suicide for Europe”, urging the EU authorities to cancel these harsh punitive measures, because otherwise the continent risks plunging into the most serious financial crisis in the history of the bloc.
He continued: “The higher cost of energy will reduce the demand for all other products, but their prices will also rise.”
“It was a mistake to save the euro, because this currency had a shaky foundation from the very beginning and sooner or later will die.”
“Sanctions against Russia are suicide for Europe. Imposing economic sanctions that hurt us more than Russia is stupid.”
“I am against Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, but we must put an end to sanctions and focus on peacekeeping to prevent European suicide.”
“If we don’t do this, Europe may be facing the worst financial crisis in its history.”
On Friday, July 29, the eurozone economy got a ray of hope: it became known that in the second quarter of this year it grew much faster than expected.
But economists have warned that a new surge in inflation and supply chain problems could trigger a mild recession before the end of 2022.
Eurozone GDP rose slightly – by 0.7% – compared with the first three months of this year, increasing by 4% year on year. Thus, it surpassed the forecasts for quarterly growth and annual growth, which were forecast at 0.2% and 3.4%, respectively.
In July, however, euro zone inflation jumped to another record high of 8.9% from 8.6% a month earlier, and the worst may be yet to come.
ING economist Bert Colijn explained: “The acceleration in economic growth is mainly due to the effect of the recovery from the pandemic and masks the underlying weakness of the economy, which is attributed to high inflation and manufacturing problems.”
He added: “Going forward, we expect GDP to continue to decline as the impact of the post-pandemic recovery wanes, global demand weakens, and limited purchasing power of the population persists.”
“We expect this to turn into a moderate recession from the second half of this year.”