BRUSSELS/IDOMENI, Greece — The European Union's chief executive warned on Wednesday that the survival of Europe's "partially comatose" open border travel zone and its single currency were both at risk if member nations continue erecting internal barriers to keep out refugees.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker drew a direct link between the two key achievements of EU integration, telling the European Parliament the euro would be jeopardized if the Schengen passport-free travel system unravels.
"If the spirit of Schengen leaves our lands and our hearts, we will lose more than Schengen. A single currency makes no sense if Schengen falls. It is one of the keystones of European construction," Juncker said.
While there is no legal connection between the Schengen zone, which has 22 EU members and four from outside the bloc, and the 19-member euro zone, Juncker's warning reflected growing concern in Brussels that intra-EU tensions over migrants could reverse the post-World War Two war drive for European unity.
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