Greece exit from euro poses EU legal, political headache

Greece exit from euro poses EU legal, political headache

Press quote (Agence France Presse)
04 November 2011

"On balance, I think Greece is likely to be outside the eurozone within 12 months but I don't believe it will be forced out of the EU. It would be playing with fire," Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER told AFP.

Greek exit from the union, he added, "would be a catastrophe for the country and for the EU," while London-based Tilford said it would represent "a catastrophic failure for the EU." "Though legally it cannot leave the eurozone, when it comes to hard politics, it is always possible to overcome the legal niceties," Tilford said. "Some would like to see its ejection from the EU," he added, "to serve as a deterrent to other struggling members of the eurozone." "The EU is about more than a eurozone. It will be under intense external pressure, including from the US, to avoid Greece leaving," Tilford said.