Euro Breakup Would Cause Global ‘Meltdown,’ George Soros Tells Newsweek

Billionaire George Soros said “the euro must survive because the alternative, a breakup, would cause a meltdown that Europe, the world, can’t afford,” Newsweek Magazine reported, citing an interview in New York ahead of his participation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In his speech at Davos, Soros will say it is “now more likely than now” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Newsweek said. Soros nevertheless thinks the euro will survive, according to Newsweek.

The world is facing a period of “evil,” Soros said, adding that he foresees Europe descending into chaos and conflict, while rioting in the streets of the U.S. will lead to a curtailment of civil liberties and the global economic system possibly collapsing altogether, Newsweek reported.

By contrast, Soros sees a “very positive” future for the developing world and said the “aspiration of people for an open society is very inspiring,” Newsweek reported.

To avoid catastrophe in 2012, the experiences of 2011 mustn’t be wasted, Soros said, according to Newsweek. “The European Union could regain its luster,” he said, adding that he’s “hopeful” that the U.S. will “pass a very severe test and actually strengthen the institution,” Newsweek reported.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Blanche Gatt at bgatt@bloomberg.net

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