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Europe

End of Europe if EU states fail to stay united: Hollande

media Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande made a joint address to the European Parliament on Wednesday. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday warned that if the European Union member states fail to remain united to tackle the refugee, euro currency and other crises, it could be the end of Europe.

Speaking during his landmark joint address to the European Parliament with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hollande said, “We need not less Europe but more Europe. Europe must affirm itself otherwise we will see the end of Europe, our demise.”

He also warned that failure to act in Syria risks stoking a "total war" in the Middle East,

"What happens in Syria concerns Europe, what happens there will determine the balance of the whole region for a long time," Hollande told European lawmakers in Strasbourg.

"If we leave these religious clashes between Sunnis and Shiites, they will grow. Don't think we will be sheltered, this will be a total war."

Hollande appeared to criticise Russia for its air attacks in support of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We have to construct in Syria, with all those who can contribute, a political future which gives the Syrian people an alternative to Bashar or Daesh," Hollande said, using another name for the Islamic State armed group.

Hollande and Merkel were giving the first joint speech to the European Parliament by the leaders of France and Germany since Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl in 1989.
 

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