June 15th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

London's mayor on the euro: 'It was a mistake'

All this on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

On "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this week: It’s all about the economy. Fareed weighs in on why Mitt Romney is wrong to say he’ll cut taxes on his first day in office; a debate on Europe with Robert Skidelsky versus Niall Ferguson; and environmental author Bjorn Lomborg on why next week's Rio+20 summit will likely be a waste of time. Also: The new dictator has evolved and gotten smarter.

Also: What to do about the European Union? London’s colorful, conservator Mayor Boris Johnson has a simple answer. Break it up.

"What would be great would be, I think, if the European leaders could face up to the reality, shrug off their egos, shrug off all their political capital that Europe has collectively invested in this project, and say, look, we made a mistake," he tells Fareed.

Watch more in the video above and from these excerpts from the show:

Johnson on whether British conservatives are different from American ones? “Totally!”

Is the Rio+20 summit a wasted opportunity? Bjorn Lomborg weighs in:

Topics: Debt Crisis • Economy • Europe • GPS Show • Politics

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Marine5484

    Finally some public official has it right. Thank you, Mayor Boris Johnson of London. I couldn't agree more. Break up the Eurozone once and for all!

    June 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  2. Willie12345

    All I can say here is, bravo Mayor Johnson, bravo!!!!!!

    June 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  3. Gino


    June 12, 2012 7:30 pm

    I will keep Greece in the eurozone

    By Alexis Tsipras

    Lest there be any doubt, my movement – Syriza – is committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.

    President Barack Obama was right when he said last Friday: “Let’s do everything we can to grow now, even as we lock in a long-term plan to stabilise our debt and our deficits, and start bringing them down in a steady, sensible way.” That applies to my country, too. The need for giving Greece a chance for real growth and a new future is now more widely accepted than ever.

    June 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  4. ✠ RZ ✠

    Having a common currency between two countries is almost like marrying them. It is evident enough that individual human couples have enough difficulties staying married. So I can't possibly imagine how anyone can realistically expect this to be maintained on a multi-national level. Might as well have done it globally.

    June 16, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
    • Said

      Why not just have a global bit coin exchange or floating currency exchange? Central banks are not at all necessary now, when you have a currency exchange where anyone can put up their own currency then an equilibrium price emerges that naturally takes care of inflation, central banks now are used by governments to devalue currency to pay off spending. If you don't have a central control of the money supply and allow an equilibrium then inflation is taken care of while you have an implicit budget amendment, since any time governments overspend on debt the interest rate for THEIR bonds will rise but the rest of the market due to equilibrium will stay the same.

      June 18, 2012 at 6:28 am | Reply
    • Said

      Common currency is a horrible idea, it just trends toward greater political centralization and given the polarity you find nowadays politucally, especially in the USA not to mention Europe if a political union were to occur, it would be quite impossible to govern,
      The best way to govern now is greater choice by the individual nations or states and a currency exchange for anyone that wishes to issue currency. Central banks don't do anything but create diffusion of responsibility and a problem of expectations....who is responsible for what, like we see now in the us with the financial industry and the government, who are intertwined,

      De centralize anything then things are worth their actual market price. Central currencies are horrible and governemnt bonds secured by central banks even worse for future economic stability,

      June 18, 2012 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • Said

      You can't expect a country like Greece to compete with Germany. Equally, you can't expect parasites to grow in a system where unions are being paid by the central bank of the united states....creating very large ponzie schemes.

      Whenever you centralize or have common outfits it's bad. Either a nation has the currency to compete or it doesn't join. Otherwise you are just going to have an oligarchy or some mustafa in Germany telling all the other nations what to do and that's not going to last,

      Even of the Greek vote goes through people arnt going to work, it's going to collapse and the. It will be pushed out.

      Monetary "unions" make no sense.

      June 18, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    Mayor Johnson has an intriguing personality, yet his ancestry is no less colourful. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born in New York and kept his US citizenship until 2006. Of Turkish, French and German aristocratic descent, Johnson describes himself as a "one-man melting pot". He has charisma and humour which gives him a popularity that crosses party lines. Some Londoners who normally vote for Labour gave him their votes in last month's election because they didn't like Ken Livingstone. He also manages to cross the class divide in a way that David Cameron and George Osborne can't seem to. Next to the neatly turned out Cameron and other posh tories, the disheveled Johnson looked like a plumber in his Sunday suit. There has been speculation that Johnson could one day replace Cameron, but he said he would rather dedicate himself to London and not stand as an MP at the 2015 general election. Well, as a man full of suprises, he might one day move into No. 10, Downing Street.

    June 16, 2012 at 5:25 am | Reply
  6. Michael39

    Thing is, the idea was always that eventually the eurozone would evolve into forming a central Government with control over ez fiscal policy, much like the relationship of Washington D.C. to the States. The problem is, it's was a leap of faith assuming everyone would desire & agree to such a thing.
    Still, having a GDP larger than the USA or China, I can see why some don't want to abandon the concept.

    June 16, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  7. nancyrm

    re Bjorn Lomborg's statements about Rio 20+ being a "waste of time." First, he cherry picks facts to suit his argument. If you want to look only at the present in terms of how many human deaths are the result of climate change and how many the result of air and water pollution, you can't then pull out commodities prices for the past 100 years to show that recent increases in food prices are minimal.
    The nature of climate change is that, if we don't take action now, it will most unfortunately cause more deaths exponentially as time passes, and disproportionately affect poor countries and populations. Also, it is not necessarily meaningful to separate effects of pollution and climate change since the two are linked. As for food prices, what people actually experience is unrealistic increases largely artificially created by market trading, combined with stagnant or shrinking wages and unemployment, making a 100-year chart irrelevant.
    Second, and getting back to the link between climate change and pollution. The environmental movement is by nature pluralistic. This allows different groups to address and stress different issues, certainly including air and water pollution and the role of social inequity, within an overall green agenda. It could be argued that not having a unified platform is a weakness, especially if you look at Kyoto and Copenhagen, etc. However, one should not confuse conflicting national agendas and behind-the-scenes influence by corporate interests, with a lack of consensus in the environmental community. If villagers in Africa are dying from inhaling indoor cooking smoke, why should they switch to fossil fuels when there are cheap solar cookers available? And while the electric car and other alternative transportation are not yet affordable for the majority, increased funding – and increased public support – for research and application can solve this problem.

    June 17, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Said

      Bjorne is right. Carbon caps will do almost nothing for the climate yet destroy large chunks of wealth worldwide. This is the equivalent of getting a gun and shooting at a tornado, thinking it will cease to exist because of small silver particles in the bullet. Most of the damage comes from the first 3/4ths of degree increase, that won't budge even if we cut carbon dioxide by half. Carbon caps attempt only a fraction of that, so it will do basically nothing as far as the environment yet it will be catastrophic for the economy.

      The solution is to invest in technology in an open patent process and/or just allow the market find the solution, conservation is actually the thing that could help and concentration on water and air.

      At the end of the day we have already embarked on industrialization, to stop now would mean death, so we might as well continue and as history has demonstrated, market technologies emerge to satisfy demand,

      If the loonies are indeed right and we have passed a "tipping point" it probably has nothing to do with man and even if it did, we will need the money to spend on disaster centers and high walls on coastline, etc, not on carbon caps.

      June 18, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply
  8. Rodrigo Silveira

    I watched the interview with most interest, Mr. Johnson is an intriguing political figure. I was particularly pleased with his approach to social issues; I left with the impression that Mr. Johnson believes that they are important at a personal level but do not add much value to the business of government. Nice approach. Unfortunately Mr. Zacaria found an opportunity to besmirch such a high level discussion with the question regarding wether Mr. Romney's experience as CEO, 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee was relevant as a qualification to be president. I was particularly disappointed with the grin that proceed Mr. Zacaria's question; I believe that as a CNN watcher I deserve to understand the meaning of the grin! I'm curious as to the kind of grin that would proceed Mr. Zacaria's questioning someone if having been a community organizer at a city level shall qualify someone for the presidency of the USA.

    June 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  9. nicholasjoseph

    Fareed does a great job reporting on politics, foreign affairs, etc, but if your dabble into environmental issues is going to be numbskull Lomborg... just leave that issue to someone else. Never have I been so infuriated by watching this pathetic display of quixotic story-telling.
    "Ha! They were up in arms through the 70's about too much growth, and look- we're still growing!" ...yes, and we're still destroying the planet by raping it for its last remaining resources.
    "Most air pollution related deaths come from people cooking indoors with dung or cardboard. We just need to get them more fossil fuels- they work great for us!" Seriously?!? You have the nerve to voice concern about air pollution, and your suggested fix involves spreading the use of fossil fuels??
    From his BS little food price chart to his smug smile as he insists that more innovation, technology, products will fix this... unbelievable. Awful guest choice, and Fareed just sat there listening to all this nonsense without calling him out once. Shame on you. Go blow a smokestack with this fool.

    June 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  10. Muin

    He sounds like someone who is against globalization because he is talking about breaking up euro zone.

    June 18, 2012 at 4:46 am | Reply
  11. Said

    Yea, I saw something similar on nickelodeon

    June 18, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
  12. Tahir

    Euro was made to rule weak nations and to make policies for weak nation so that rich nation can become more rich.

    June 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Willie12345

      Very true, Tahir. Since the Greek elections yesterday, the Elitists in Europe are having a big field day over it as well as the Washington bureaucrats! The status quo will go on and on......!

      June 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  13. Matt

    Mr. Johnson seems to be a very practical and down to earth politiian with a lot of good ideas. Conservatives in the US could learn quite a few things from British conservatives, particularly in regards to social issues.

    June 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  14. LWJR

    Romney is wrong. Unpaid political attack ad by CNN.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  15. PPJr

    Compared with British conservatives, American conservatives always sound like some kind of fringe ultra-right bunch. Oh yeah, and also British conservatives apparently have some capabilities for intelligent discourse.

    June 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
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