ITALY MAYOR ELECT RAGGI FIVE-STAR.jpg
Five-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo (C)
Photograph: EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

Europe's common currency, the euro, is wrecking the economies of Italy, Spain and Greece and must be fundamentally reformed or broken up, Italy's main opposition party, the Five Star Movement (M5S), said Tuesday.

In a post on the blog of party founder Beppe Grillo, the M5S says fixed exchange rates within Europe are preventing the rebalancing of Germany's huge trade surplus and of corresponding trade deficits in southern Europe.

"The euro and the obligations linked to it are destroying peripheral economies, whipping up social unrest and blocking economic growth," the M5S's speaker at the European Parliament, Marco Valli, said in the post.

"We need to sit down at a table and decide whether we solve the problem through real integration, with more solidarity from Germany, or with a negotiated return to national currencies," Valli added.

This should be organized before "it happens in a disorderly fashion or, worse, before Europe is ruled by extremist governments," Valli said, presenting the M5S as a responsible party that "does not want chaos in Europe" and seeks to "save European unity."

In another blog article, another European Parliament member for the M5S, Laura Ferrara, accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of opening the country's doors to Syrian refugees to exploit them as a low-cost workforce.

"Merkel's future [...] is now in jeopardy. And this is good news for Europe," she said.

The M5S has long advocated for a referendum on Italy's eurozone exit. According to opinion polls, it has strong chances of beating the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the next general elections.

However, its readiness for government is in question as the M5S Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, is battling with internal feuds, resignations and judicial investigations in her administration just three months after being elected on a bold platform for change.

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