Increased "Risk of Secession" in European Union

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has recently pulled some noteworthy quotes from the European Central Bank’s December 2009 guide on expulsion from the EU, such as, “recent developments have, perhaps, increased the risk of secession…”

The new document is part of a legal working paper series and is entitled, “Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU: some reflections” (PDF). With the ongoing economic upheaval throughout the industrialized world, and especially in the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) nations, it’s looking like an increasingly useful resource for EU leaders to have on hand.

From The Telegraph:

“Crucially, he [Phoebus Athanassiou] argues that eurozone exit entails expulsion from the European Union as well. All EU members must take part in EMU (except Britain and Denmark, with opt-outs).

“This is a warning shot for Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. If they fail to marshal public support for draconian austerity, they risk being cast into Icelandic oblivion. Or for Greece, back into the clammy embrace of Asia Minor.

“ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet upped the ante, warning that the bank would not bend its collateral rules to support Greek debt. “No state can expect any special treatment,” he said. He might as well daub a death’s cross on the door of Greece’s debt management office.”

Here the topic arises again… the steady drumbeat for austerity measures in troubled, but developed economies. Which countries will be able to answer the call, in what has become an entitlement era, remains to be seen. Visit The Telegraph to read the article in its entirety and get a better sense of how the ECB is preparing the legal ground for a euro rupture.