The future of the euro — what happens if a Member State leaves?
The continued viability of the Eurozone as a single currency area is challenged from time to time. Some doubt the ability of Italy and other Member States to remain in the zone, given their difficulties in complying with the applicable budgetary rules. Even the French Prime Minister has commented that life was sometimes easier with the franc. This article considers some of the consequences which may ensue in the event that a Member State felt compelled to seek an exit from the Eurozone, and to reintroduce its own national currency. The Treaty does not legislate for this type of situation and any such attempt would clearly cause severe strains at a political level. But it would also have a major impact on the financial markets. In particular, there may be doubts about the currency in which continuing monetary obligations should be settled. This article seeks to analyze the legal issues which would arise in this context.