Tuesday 20 March 2018

Be ready to bring back the punt - Smurfit

Dermot Smurfit
Dermot Smurfit

John Reynolds

One of Ireland's leading businessmen and wealthiest entrepreneurs, Dermot Smurfit has said that the eurozone will fracture in the next five years and that Ireland should be prepared to print punts again in the event of it doing so.

"I don't think the euro will exist in its current form in five years' time," said Smurfit in a wide-ranging interview.

"The eurozone will either break up and we'll return to our national currencies or perhaps there will be a southern euro and a northern one, or some other solution. There's not much you can do to prepare for it.

"Ireland just needs to be ready to print punts again. In the absence of political union as well as monetary union - and I don't see any sign of, or appetite for that - I don't see how it can continue on its current path," added the former Smurfit Europe executive and founder of paper and packaging firm Powerflute, the sale of which recently earned him €47.5m.

His comments come as fears grow in Europe about Front Nationale's Marine Le Pen storming to a presidential victory in France next May, and a constitutional referendum in Italy in two weeks' time.

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