( Bloomberg) Billionaire investor George Soros predicted weak growth and lingering political tension that could shatter Europe’s economic union even if Greece agrees to austerity measures.
“Right now the European Union and particularly the heavily indebted countries face a lost decade,” Soros said. “It might actually be longer than a decade because Japan that had a similar situation with the real estate boom and the banking crisis has had now 25 years of no growth,” Soros said.
“That will create tensions within the European Union, which could destroy the European Union,” he said. “And that’s a real danger.”
A package of budget, wage and pension cuts that Greece’s parliment could adopt as soon as tomorrow is “not necessarily going to work in the long run,” Soros said. “But it will certainly buy you another six months of quiet on the Greek front.”
“Greece is a sick situation” that has been “mishandled” by European authorities and “will continue to be an irritant and a problem for Europe,” Soros said. The European Union, once a desirable objective, has become “more of an imposition,” he said.
ATHENS - Greece's parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill Monday to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.