Trump's EU envoy stirs up Greece trouble

After comparing the EU to the Soviet Union...

Trump's EU envoy stirs up Greece trouble

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office. Picture by Alex Brandon AP/Press Association Images

US President Donald Trump's top pick for ambassador to the EU believes that Greece will ask to leave the eurozone.

Ted Malloch's comments come amid fresh disputes over the state of the bloc's worst economy.

Speaking to the country's Skai TV, Malloch referenced a Trump tweet from 2012 in which he opined that Greece should stop "wasting time" and return to its former drachma currency:

"I personally think he was right. I would also say that this probably should have been instigated four years ago frankly, and probably it would have been easier or simpler to do."

Turning his attention to the eurozone in general, Malloch said:

"Whether the eurozone survives I think is very much a question that is on the agenda.

"We have had the exit of the UK, there are elections in other European countries, so I think it is something that will be determined over the course of the next year, year and a half.

"Why is Greece again on the brink?" he continued. "It seems like a deja vu. Will it ever end? I think this time I would have to say that the odds are higher that Greece itself will break out of the euro."

Ted Malloch Photograph: WND Books

The comments are likely to further fuel the growing tensions between the Trump administration and European Union officials, following on from inflammatory remarks in which Malloch likened the EU to the Soviet Union.

Asked by BBC News last month why he wanted the ambassadorial role, he commented:

"I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there's another union that needs a little taming."

In that same interview, Malloch revealed that Trump himself is not a fan of the "supranational and unelected" EU and suggested that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker should go back to being a "very adequate mayor I think of some city in Luxembourg" (Juncker is a former prime minister of Luxembourg).

According to The Guardian, Manfred Weber, leader of the centre-right European People's Party, and Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group, wrote in a letter to Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk:

"In the past weeks, Ted R. Malloch, the likely nominee by US President Trump to become the new US ambassador to the European Union, made a series of public statements denigrating the EU.

"In these statements, the prospective nominee expressed his ambition to ‘tame the bloc like he brought down the Soviet Union’, eloquently supported dissolution of the European Union and explicitly bet on the demise of the common currency within months.

"These statements reveal outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union and, if pronounced by an official representative of the United States, they would have the potential to undermine seriously the transatlantic relationship that has, for the past 70 years, essentially contributed to peace, stability and prosperity on our continent."

The 64-year-old pro-Brexit businessman from Philadelphia is currently a professor at the Henley Business School of the University of Reading in England.

The Financial Times reports today that he embellished a number of details in his new autobiography Davos, Aspen & Yale. This includes claims his PBS documentary Doing Virtuous Business “was nominated for an Emmy Award” – WFYI, the manufacturing firm behind the documentary, has said that it had been submitted for a Lower Great Lakes Chapter Regional Emmy, but not nominated.

He also claims that Margaret Thatcher called him a "genius" and a "global sherpa" in a 1992 speech, though in video evidence of the speech, she doesn't name Malloch as such.