Posted by: Dirk | February 17, 2010

Article 122 – why the eurozone countries have to bail out Greece

According to the SPIEGEL, the German Bundestag’s expert opinion believes that eurozone countries would have to bail out Greece because the EU’s legal texts say so. Please note that “may” is a legal phrase which is often said to mean “must” if the party concerned “can”. The important part follows (my highlighting).

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Article 122 (ex Ar ticle 100 TEC)

1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy.

2. Where a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may grant, under certain conditions, Union financial assistance to the Member State concerned. The President of the Council shall inform the European Parliament of the decision taken.

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