EC preparing secret plans for Greek euro exit

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
By Paul Martin

Legal advice on capital controls, including limits on withdrawals from Greek bank accounts, and emergency border restrictions, has been provided by the European Commission to eurozone governments drawing up plans for Greece to leave the euro.

By Bruno Waterfield
12 Jun 2012

Commission officials confirmed on Tuesday that “these elements” of contingency planning for a Greek exit from the single currency have been discussed by the “euro working group” (EWG) of Treasury officials and junior finance ministers over the last six weeks.

“There are indeed discussions, and we are asked to clarify what is foreseen in the EU treaties,” said a Commission spokesman. “Some people are working on scenarios. We are providing information on EU law as guardian of the treaties.”

Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported bank withdrawals in Greece have hit a rate of up to €500m per day, a level expected to accelerate in the aftermath of Greek elections on Sunday.
The admission that the Commission has given legal advice on the introduction of capital controls will fuel uncertainty and market turbulence amid fears that the eurozone is heading for a break up over the summer.

The discussions, carried out during weekly conference calls, have taken place as the EU prepares for the possibility Greeks will elect a radical-left coalition, Syriza, which has pledged to tear up an austerity programme that is condition of a €240bn EU-IMF bailout.

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