EU Referendum Timeline: The Euro is on Borrowed Time

It’s hard to appreciate just how powerful the de-globalisation revolution is that is currently sweeping the world.

Trump and Brexit are thought of as the leading edge when de-globalisation has been building momentum for years.

With the euro exit genie out of the bottle the next 18 months present a staggering gauntlet of election and referendum risks. Including many countries whose people have already shown a desire to exit.

Everyone is worried that the pound might crash when the Euro is where the real risk lies.

EU Referendum Timeline
EU Referendum Timeline

These Countries Want Referendums to Leave the EU

A recent poll by Ipsos Mori showed that the majority of people in France and Italy want to hold a referendum on leaving.

Over 40% of Swedes, Poles & Belgians would also like to vote.

France & Italy are the second and third largest economies in the euro zone so without them the EU would be lucky to continue. Every country that exits raises doubts about the long term viability of the EU and devalues the Euro currency.

If Italy Exits There Will Be a Financial Crisis

The euro zone has been suffering from very poor growth since the the GFC in 2009. Rather than try and fix the problem the banks have been holding out and kicking the can down the road hoping that the economy will pick up.

But it hasn’t.

So now Italy is in the situation where their non performing loans as share of GDP has reached 12%. This debt is held by the Italian banks but other German, Dutch & French banks also hold Italian euro liabilities.

This might not be terminal if it was one of the smaller countries but Italy is the 3rd largest economy in the EU.

If the people of Italy decided to leave the EU, they would return to using the Lira and all the debt would be converted to Lira, the Lira would devalue sharply and Italy would default on it’s debt. Overnight the German, Dutch & French banks would become insolvent.

The ensuing financial crisis would fracture the EU and end the Euro.

Once It Starts There Will Be a Rush to the Exits

Whether it happens slowly or quickly, the end result will be the same.

The EU is finished.

As this reality dawns on the masses the Euro will crash.

The countries that leave earlier in the process will be best placed to start adjusting the new normal while the euro is still worth something.

The rest will be on the back foot all trying to exit at the same time while the currency is falling.

The 2017 Election Timeline

  • January 21 – 29: French Primaries (2nd Round)
    Voting to select presidential election candidates for the French Socialist Party & the Radical Party of the Left.
  • March 15: Netherlands General Election
    Far-right Party for Freedom is leading the polls and intends to hold a referendum. 88% of people said they would be in favor of a referendum.
  • March 26: German State (Saarland) Election
    The Saarland state election where Merkel’s CDU has been losing votes to right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).
  • End of March: UK to Trigger Article 50
    If triggered it starts the complex negotiations to leave the EU.
  • April 23: French Presidential Election
    Leader of the far-right French National Front Marine Le Pen has pledged to hold a referendum if she wins.
  • May 7: German State (Schleswig-Holstein) Election
    Schleswig-Holstein is expected to be lost to AfD which is running on heavy anti-immigration rhetoric.
  • May 14: German State (Westphalia) Election
    Westphalia is also expected to be lost to AfD.
  • June 11 – 18: French Legislative Election
  • September: Spain State Referendum
    Catalonia is home to 1/6th of the Spanish population. 48% support secession.
  • October 22: German General Election
    Angel Merkel is expected to win but the AfD is polling at 13%, enough to secure key seats.
  • May 2018: Italy General Election
    With Renzi’s defeat, Italy faces the risk of early elections and the prospect of an anti-euro party coming to power.

What You Can Do About It?

  • Sell liquid euro assets
  • Buy US dollars and gold
  • Hedge the value of your non liquid euro assets

 

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