EU Bail-Out Scheme Alters Bloc Treaties, says France

Demonstrators dressed with Robin Hood costumes protest with symbolic Euro money bags

From the Financial Times: The eurozone’s €440bn debt guarantee scheme is tantamount to the adoption of a Nato-style mutual defence clause and marks an ‘unprecedented’ change to the bloc’s treaties, according to France’s Europe minister.

In a Financial Times interview, Pierre Lellouche laid bare the French government’s conviction that the emergency stabilisation scheme agreed this month amounted to a fundamental revision of the European Union’s rules and a leap towards an economic government for the bloc.

"It is an enormous change," Mr Lellouche said. "It explains some of the reticence. It is expressly forbidden in the treaties by the famous no bail-out clause. De facto, we have changed the treaty," he added.

Mr Lellouche’s comments are likely to go down badly in Germany, where the government has insisted the debt guarantee scheme to help beleaguered eurozone members is a temporary mechanism, set up between governments with Berlin retaining a veto, and does not imply a breach of the EU’s treaties. …

[H]e said the scheme institutionalised solidarity between states. "The €440bn mechanism is nothing less than the importation of Nato’s Article 5 mutual defence clause applied to the eurozone. When one member is under attack the others are obliged to come to its defence."  (photo: AP)

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