Soros said a slumping economy would worsen the political tensions between countries and that the creditor-debtor divide risked breaking up the European Union itself over the long term. "So the financial solution is politically unacceptable, in fact in the long run intolerable."
Greece, Portugal and Ireland have needed bailouts from other eurozone countries led by Germany and the International Monetary Fund after they were unable to borrow money at affordable rates to pay off debts that regularly come due. The condition of getting the loans was agreement to sharp cutbacks in spending and tax increases that pushed all three into recessions, which Ireland has now exited, and sent unemployment sharply higher.
Spending cuts can slow an economy by removing the stimulus of government spending.
Soros made a fortune running investment funds and founded a global network of foundations that support democracy and open societies.