Think tank warns leaving the EU would cost Germany’s economy

BERLIN, Feb 13: The German Economic Institute (IW) has warned of the economic damage leaving the European Union (EU), as recently suggested by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), would have on the country’s economy. 

If Germany were to leave the EU and the eurozone, “it could lose around 10 per cent of its economic output”, the head of the IW’s Berlin office, Knut Bergmann, told the Rheinische Post newspaper, in remarks published on Tuesday. 

“This would mean a loss of prosperity of €400 billion (US$430 billion) to €500 billion per year, as a study on the actual consequences of Brexit shows,” Bergmann said.

As an exporting country, Germany would be hit hard by such a decision – “and so would its citizens: 2.2 million jobs would be at risk,” he said.

AfD co-chairwoman Alice Weidel recently argued in an interview with the Financial Times that the far-right party should pursue a referendum on quitting the EU modelled on the United Kingdom’s 2016 Brexit vote if it can’t succeed in forcing sweeping reforms on the EU to diminish the power of Brussels.