Bruno Maçães, who was Portugal’s EU minister between July 2013 and November 2015 told the Express.co.uk that Italians were increasingly drawing the link between the country’s economic woes and its EU membership.
Mr Maçães said: ‘The big problem is that Italy has not grown since the start of the euro, its been basically stagnant for 16 or 17 years.
“This is not sustainable, and of course more and more people are making the connection and asking, publicly, whether the euro is to blame for Italian stagnation.
“Italy is not a country that is used to this. It was for decades a fast growing, fast industrialising, high tech economy. You have to make an effort to think back to those years in the 70s and the 60s.”