EU referendum: Key quotes from European figures

Key quotes from high-profile European figures on Britain's EU referendum, as compiled by BBC Monitoring.


Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble

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Image caption Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble (R), has been vocal in warning against the dangers of Brexit

"Let's say the referendum was to go that way [leaving the EU]. We would have years of the most difficult negotiations, which would be very difficult for the EU as well. For years, we would have such insecurity that would be a poison to the economy in the UK, in continental Europe and the global economy as well." (6 March, on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show)

"We would cry." (asked about his reaction if Britain voted to leave, 3 March, discussion at the British Chambers of Commerce, via Reuters)

"If the UK would not be engaged (in) the European Union as a member, I think the UK would take the risk that continental Europe would be a little bit less stable, more volatile and that is not in Britain's interests." (3 March, discussion at the British Chambers of Commerce, via Reuters)


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Image caption President Hollande (R) has suggested cooperation on migrants at Calais might suffer from a UK exit

President Francois Hollande

"I don't want to scare you, but I just want to say the truth. There will be consequences if the UK quits the EU. There will be consequences in many areas: the single market, financial trade, economic development between our two countries. That doesn't mean that everything will be destroyed - I don't want to dwell on this vision of catastrophe. But there will be consequences, including on the issue of people. It will not obviously put in question the friendly relations between France and the UK, but there will be consequences, including in the way we handle the situations that we just mentioned, in terms of migration." (3 Mar, at a joint news conference with David Cameron in Amiens, via BFM TV)


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Image caption Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has warned of the impact of a British exit on his country

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka

"If Britain leaves the EU, we should expect similar debates to start in the Czech Republic within a few years... And the country's potential exit from the union would result in the Czech Republic returning to Russia's sphere of influence… It would go against everything we have achieved since 1989… The consequences of Britain's exit would be truly immense." (23 Feb, via Czech daily Lidove Noviny)

President Milos Zeman

"Brexit is very unlikely… My main argument for thinking that Britain won't end up exiting the European Union is that if it were to leave, Scotland would declare independence and it would join the European Union. And Great Britain without Scotland would cease to be Great." (24 Feb, during visit to Czech region of Liberec, via Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes)


Prime Minister Viktor Orban

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Image caption Hungary's Viktor Orban voiced support for some of Britain's reform demands

"All changes to the EU that are possible without modification of its treaties have now been made and it is now up to the British to decide whether they remain members. For Hungary, it is an honour to be in the same community as Britain and it would be happy to see the United Kingdom stay in the EU." (22 Feb, speaking in the Hungarian parliament, via ATV)


Economy and Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan

"[A UK exit] would be a loss for Great Britain and for the European Union." (7 March, at a conference organised by the Aspen Institute and Chatham House in London, via Corriere della Sera)

Former Prime Minister Mario Monti

"Think of the psychodrama of Brexit: it was invented by Cameron to enforce a consensus within the Conservative Party without giving up on Europe. Today polls and narrative prevail: On this basis I would not assume that in three years we will still have the [European] Union, with or without Britain." (16 March, interview with La Stampa)

Leader of right-wing Eurosceptic Northern League Matteo Salvini

"We will organise gazebos throughout Italy for Italians to vote as well on the same day." (6 March, commenting on Britain's EU referendum, via Rai News)


Leader of governing Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski

"Poland and the Poles have obtained a great deal - full protection both for people who are currently in the United Kingdom, and also for people who have children in Poland. They will continue to receive benefits. These may be indexed, but they will be received. (5 Feb, commenting on the UK's EU reform proposals, after meeting David Cameron, via TVN24)

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo

"You could say we agree fully with the proposal of the Prime Minister [Cameron] on these solutions to improve competitiveness, to create a less bureaucratic European Union, and which finally give due importance to national parliaments. On this there absolutely full agreement between us. We will support these proposals." (12 Feb, at a joint news conference with David Cameron; via TVN24)

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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