- June 25, 2011: Greek Coup to force exit from Euro? – John Mauldin, “Outside the Box” Newsletter: To go back to the drachma would require a bank holiday for a week, and it would have to be a surprise move. About the only way for that to happen would be a military coup coupled with a bank holiday and promises to return to elections after the currency issue was solved. The current government does not have the votes or the power to declare a holiday and move to the drachma, or at least they don’t as I read it. Just a thought.
- EUobserver.com – Brussels: ‘No one can leave the euro’: The European Commission on Thursday (8 September) insisted that no member of the eurozone can leave the single currency after Germany and the Netherlands suggested publicly for the first time that such an extreme move should indeed be considered. However, a European Central Bank legal study from 2009 argues that while voluntary withdrawal is legally not possible, expulsion remains “conceivable”.
- Oct. 5, 2011, BusinessInsider.com – Meanwhile Greece Just Bought 400 Tanks From The US;
- Oct. 6, 2011, RT.com – Police use tear gas against Greek protestersGreek police have used tear gas against the protesters. Clashes happened during the rallying of Greek unions in central Athens on Wednesday in a new protest over the austerity measures applied as the government struggles to avoid default.
… dot, dot, dot …
- ECB Legal Working Paper Series No 10, December 2009 – Withdrawal and
expulsion from the EU and EMU some reflections, by Phoebus Athanassiou, pages 39-40 : In the unlikely event that a Member State withdraws voluntarily or is expelled from the EU, its NCB’s membership of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and euro area participation would be terminated, with the departing Member State having to restore its old currency or adopt a new one… EMU is a sub-set of the EU, which is why the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank – lying at the heart of the ESCB and the Eurosystem – is annexed as a Protocol to the EC Treaty. For this reason, a Member State’s exit from the EU would automatically posit its exit from EMU.
- EUROPA > Summaries of EU legislation – BREACH BY A MEMBER STATE OF THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE UNION IS BASED:
The Treaty of Amsterdam proclaims that the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States. At the same time, the new Treaty acknowledges that these principles may be infringed by a Member State and lays down the procedure which the Union should follow in dealing with the Member State concerned.
Establishment of the existence of a breach
On a proposal from the Commission or one third of the member states, the Council – in the shape of the heads of state or government – may determine the existence of a breach by a Member State. The breach must be “serious and persistent”. The European Parliament has to give its assent by a majority of its members and a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. The government of the Member State in question is first invited to submit its observations.
The Council’s decision establishing a breach will be considered unanimous even where a Member State abstains.
Suspension of the Member State concerned
Once a serious and persistent breach has been established, the Council may (but need not necessarily) suspend some of the Member State’s rights under the Treaty. However, the country remains bound by its obligations. The suspension of rights might, for instance, involve withdrawing the Member State’s voting rights in the Council.
At this second stage, the Council acts by a qualified majority, disregarding the votes of the Member State concerned.
Variation or revocation of the suspension
If there is a change in the situation that led to a Member State’s suspension, the Council can decide to vary or revoke the measures taken.
When taking such a decision, the Council acts by a qualified majority, disregarding the votes of the Member State concerned.
Some passing questions:
- Could a military coup in Greece trigger it’s suspension/expulsion from the EU – on the rationale of it being a breach of “European Values”?
- Could this in turn justify Greece’s suspension/expulsion from the Economic Monetary Union – the eurozone?
- Who in Germany would complain?