15 Feb Bleg: What Is EU Law on Greece (Possibly) Leaving the Eurozone?
One issue I don’t understand in the Greece-Eurozone crisis is the legal basis on which Greece can either be forced out of the Eurozone, or else can leave it voluntarily. I’d be grateful if someone knowledgeable could explain in the comments, and give the relevant treaty references, for how the process works. One reason I ask is that I thought I understood a year or so ago that leaving, voluntarily or involuntarily, was legally not quite as easy as many finance and economics folks seemed to think – entry was deliberately constructed on a one way door. But maybe I just didn’t understand how the treaty law works. So if someone could point to the legal process, even if it is just “by agreement of the parties,” I would be grateful.
The other question that arises here is why it’s a question. I suppose there are two possible scenarios. One is that Greece is ejected (whatever legally that means in the circumstances) but does not want to go. Perhaps its citizens realize that they don’t want to lose their euros, or for whatever reason. But France and Germany have had enough, and bring others with them in the Eurozone. If Greece objects, what can it do legally? Can it bring a case in, for example, the ECJ?
Alternatively, suppose that Greece takes the heavy-handed hint and agrees to exit, perhaps in exchange for some semi-golden parachute. But perhaps Portugal or some other weak EZ country sees in this a precedent for getting kicked out itself down the road – other countries, for whatever diverse reasons, want to ensure that the EZ remains a one-way zone, once in, forever in. Would one of them have the ability to bring a case in the ECJ or elsewhere, and on what grounds? Or is all this juridically water under the bridge, because legally the situation is merely whatever the countries agree to?