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Vienna, 29 August 2012 Fekter in favour of mechanism for excluding countries from Eurozone Fekter: “It will take time to implement”

Austrian Minister of Finance Dr. Maria Fekter believes that the EU needs a mechanism by which it can, if necessary, exclude countries from the Eurozone: “We need a vehicle that will enable us to shut a country out of the Eurozone if it constantly creates financial burdens for the other member states.”

However, Dr Fekter does not think it realistic to expect such a mechanism to be put in place within the next five years. She advocates facing facts on this point: “I am familiar with the EU legislative process. First a convention will be needed at the EU parliamentary level, then a treaty will have to be negotiated, ratified and ultimately – in some countries – put to a referendum. All of that will take time”. 

“It is one thing for people to sit together over drinks in a pub and call for Greece to be thrown out. However, we have to consider the knock-on effects. In particular, the taxpayer would be left to foot the bill. That is why we have the political will to keep the Eurozone together and force financially unstable member states to carry through with their reforms”, Dr Fekter went on to say.

If Greece needed only more time rather than more funding in order to carry through with the necessary reforms, the Austrian Finance Minister would be prepared to talk about granting a deferral. As to the question of a third aid package for Greece, Dr Fekter stressed in closing: “We can’t be re-doing the whole thing every three months. That is why we will putting great pressure on the Greek government to rigorously implement the reforms from the second package.”