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Senior German leader: EU could break apart, that's clear now

Staff Writer |
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told Der Spiegel that the fall of the European Union is very real and it could happen soon.

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Gabriel (SPD) said strenuous efforts by countries like France and Italy to reduce their fiscal deficits came with political risks.

"I once asked the chancellor, what would be more costly for Germany: for France to be allowed to have half a percentage point more deficit, or for Marine Le Pen to become president?" he said.

"Until today, she still owes me an answer," added Gabriel.

"I know that this discussion is extremely unpopular. But I also know about the state of the EU. It is no longer unthinkable that it breaks apart," he said in the interview.

"Should that happen, our children and grandchildren would curse us," he added. "Because Germany is the biggest beneficiary of the European community - economically and politically."

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