Nexit, Frexit or Grexit? The countries that could follow Britain out of the EU

Nexit, Frexit or Grexit? The countries that could follow Britain out of the EU
A man waves a European Union (EU) flag.
PHOTO: AFP

Elections in the Netherlands, France and potentially Greece over the coming months could result in exit talks from the European Union (EU) that would cast further uncertainty on the future of the largest civilisation project of the 20th Century. Here are the respective country's prospects of an EU exit:

Nexit

Geert Wilders, leader of right-wing Dutch Party for Freedom.Photo: AFP

The probability of the Netherlands exiting from the EU in the near term could hinge on the election chances of Geert Wilders, the leader of the euro-sceptic and populist group, Party for Freedom (PVV).

Wilders has vowed to hold an EU referendum should he win the election on March 15 and the latest opinion polls suggest he is in the lead to secure the most votes. However, it appears unlikely he will win enough support to form a majority government and the PVV's radical views seems to have effectively ruled out the party's coalition prospects.

"Only the PVV has taken a clearly pro-Nexit stance," a team of Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note.

Read also: British MPs approve bill to start Brexit

"Other (soft) Eurosceptic parties have been more cautious, for instance, suggesting separate votes on aspects of EU participation rather than (a) complete 'in or out'. A poll by TNS Nipo asking the hypothetical Nexit question suggests that it would get a majority only among PVV voters," the report added.

Deutsche Bank's analysts argued that Dutch political history indicated a referendum on such a scale is unlikely and the country's highly complex legal system means it would be remarkably difficult to create a binding vote supported by the electorate.

The German bank's latest research concluded that even if a binding referendum could take place, most people in the Netherlands would not wish to leave the EU bloc.

Frexit

Marine Le Pen French National Front political party leader.Photo: Reuters

Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and populist National Front (NF) has promised to renegotiate the terms of France's membership of the EU if elected president in May.

Le Pen's chances of victory in May appear limited as the latest opinion polls suggest she would be defeated in the second and final round of voting by either the former economy minister and independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron or centre-right candidate Francois Fillon.

Read also: London will retain strengths post-Brexit

However, the NF leader could yet harbour some hope of securing the French presidency as US President Donald Trump's surprise victory as well as the Brexit vote in the UK both defied expectations.

"In many ways, all this is reminiscent of the run-up to Brexit," Jörg Krämer,

chief economist at Commerzbank, said in a note.

"At that time the then-British (Prime Minister David) Cameron wanted to negotiate with the other EU members to obtain more leeway for the UK, and put the result to a referendum. However, Marine Le Pen is likely to achieve even less than Cameron in this respect, and France leaving the EU would have far greater repercussions than Brexit," Krämer added.

Some analysts have given the NF leader up to a one in five chance of becoming President in May though Krämer projected that should Le Pen be able to defy the odds and deliver Frexit, the European Monetary Union would then be "virtually doomed".

Grexit

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.Photo: Reuters

The specter of a potential Grexit has reared its head once again as Greek lawmakers are under intensifying pressure from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to overcome its current impasse over its bailout package.

Greece is currently on a third bailout programme worth 86 billion euros ($92 billion) though the implementation of the country's austerity measures has prompted concern from the EU and the IMF.

Moody's credit rating agency projected that although they expect the country's government to be able to meet the demands from the EU and IMF, the potential for snap general elections in Greece is evident.

Krämer expressed concern that the EU's demands for more austerity are falling on deaf ears in Athens.

"Since the two positions are irreconcilable, another crisis seems to be in the offing," he suggested.

"It will no doubt end with the necessary compromise between the parties concerned, but given the very different standpoints, matters will probably have come to a head first (so) a new Greek crisis may be necessary to clear the logjam," he concluded.

More about

Brexit
Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.