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Smaller eurozone 'the road to Armageddon'

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As fears of a financial meltdown swirl in the EU, it has been suggested that a smaller, tighter eurozone - with greater integration of fiscal policy - is on the cards.

Reuters are reporting senior EU officials saying that there have been "intense consultations" on precisely such a change between France and Germany in recent weeks.

"The future structure of Europe is certainly under discussion," Europe editor Gavin Hewitt told the programme, but at the moment it was a "ferment of ideas" rather than formal discussion.

In business editor Robert Peston's analysis, the creation of a "hardcore, smaller eurozone" would have severe consequences for the European economies.

"Right now that is broadly the road to Armageddon," he said.

"If investors start to believe that quite big but weak economies are going to leave the eurozone, they are going to stop lending to a whole range of eurozone countries.

"There is a genuine risk that the eurozone is unravelling before our eyes, and it is down to Germany to prevent that."


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