If Greece decided to leave the euro, it would also have to quit the European Union, according to the terms of the EU’s treaties, the European Commission said today.
“The treaties indeed confirm what we have been saying here: the treaty doesn’t foresee an exit from the euro zone without exiting the EU, so indeed that is the current situation,” European Commission spokeswoman Karolina Kottova said.
The comment was in response to a question about the provisions the EU treaties make for a country to leave the euro, but the spokeswoman did not refer to a particular member state.The Commission said the place of Greece was within the euro zone and there were instruments in place to ensure that.”We see Greece within the euro and the necessary instruments are in place and an agreement has been reached,” Ms Kottova told the Commission’s daily news briefing.”So, as far as we are concerned, this is the only option that is on the table.”The EU treaty does not specifically foresee the possibility of a country leaving the single currency area, which now comprises 17 countries, although it does provide for the possibility of a country leaving the 27-nation European Union.
In article 50, the treaty says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”
To leave the EU, the country would have to notify EU leaders that it wants to do so and negotiate with them the terms of its exit, the treaty says. EU laws would stop applying to the exiting country, even without negotiated leaving terms, after two years from notifying the leaders.
If it wanted to become a member of the EU again, the country would have to repeat the normal application procedure.
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