Nobel Laureate Stiglitz predicts eurozone disintegration should Italy walk away

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz © Bobby Yip
Italy and other countries may leave the eurozone in the next few years, predicts Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. He blames the euro and German austerity for the stalled European economy.

"There will still be a eurozone in 10 years, but the question is, what will it look like? It's very unlikely it will still have 19 members. It's difficult to say who will still belong,” Stiglitz said in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt.

"The people in Italy are increasingly disappointed in the euro. Italians are starting to realize that Italy doesn't work in the euro," he added.

According to Stiglitz, Germany had already accepted that Greece would ditch the euro. He added he advised Greece and Portugal to leave the eurozone.

Stiglitz criticized Germany’s austerity policy, lack of European solidarity for solving common economic woes and the single currency. The best solution to boost the European economy is to break up the euro, creating two different currencies for northern and southern member countries, the economist said.

The United States has recovered from the 2008 crisis, while the EU is still suffering, “the big difference is the euro,” Stiglitz said.

Stiglitz received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001. He served as World Bank chief economist from 1997 to 2000. Stiglitz is known for his criticism of the management of globalization, rating agencies and trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, as well as his support for the anti-austerity movement.