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Varoufakis threatens top EU court action to block Grexit

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis threatened that Greece can take the EU and the Eurozone (?) to European Court of Justice in order to block a Greek exit from the euro area. “They cannot drive us away from the eurozone,” Varoufakis told UK’s Telegraph.


varoufakis legal rights

The Finance Minister said that the country will certainly think and consider appropriate legal action in European courts.

As the Telegraph is behind firewall for certain readers, the Finance ministry issues a press release with Varoufakis’ statement.

“Greece will make use of all legal rights. We receive legal advice and would certainly consider appropriate legal action in European courts. The EU treaties do not provide exit from the euro and we refuse to accept it. Our position in the eurozone is not negotiable.” (via news247.gr)

Telegraph’s article is here

Practically it will take ages for the ECJ to take a decision and such cases will have to go first through national courts. So in about 5-10 years we will know ECJ decision.

PS Nice try but the salvo goes in jokes direction.

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  1. No, the timeframe of the CJEU is not so fixed. They can decide to take immediate action for such cases — which are almost non-existent in the history of the EU/EC. Usually, the only cases that involve institutions are by Commission employees, or are formal actions taken by the Commission against individual countries. Greece would make legal history even by lodging an application.

    • And it would not go to national courts first: that applies to individuals and companies. A state will go direct to the CJEU.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      thanks. but still I think it’s ridiculous idea.

      • The point is that everything the Troika is doing is illegal. This is a very very serious issue. Greece cannot be removed from the euro — by the legal opinion of the European Commission– and it cannot be removed from the EU. Greece cannot even voluntarily quit the euro — unless it denounces the EU treaties and quits the EU entirely.

        These are very clear legal positions, yet the criminals running the Troika and various national politicians are threatening Greece with something that is illegal, and cannot be done. They are not merely threatening Syriza — they are threatening the Greek people directly, and also destabilising the European Union.

        Basically, Germany and others are saying: we don’t observe the law, we don’t care about rules, all that matters is that someone owes money to us. We are prepared to destroy the European Union to get our money and teach stupid small countries to do as they are told.

        Does this remind anyone of anything in history?

      • I agree with Xenos that it is a very serious issue. And when the history books are written on the EU and this period, it wiII be the number one issue.

  2. The problem is that not the EU will decide for a Grexit, but Greece, because they will have no other options.

    The EU can bring Greece to court if they introduce the Drachme, but not the other way around.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      O.k. when Lira

    • No need to introduce drachma.

      Greece, a member state, is being pushed by ECB into defauIt INSIDE the eurozone where – according to Draghi in his 2O12 Whatever-it-takes speech – membership is irrevocable. Further, Euro either works in aII member states or “it is not a singIe currency”. This is not a poIiticaI statement but a technicaI observation vitaI to preserving the currency.

      MeanwhiIe it is not in the right of any institution to kick Greece out.

      But even if it were, Greece can use the euro if it wants since it is a free fIoating currency.

  3. Just like with capital controls, it is not the European institutions that will be making the decision to kick Greece out of the euro zone. It will be the Greek government itself as it runs out of money and has to print something to pay its obligations with — at least within Greece (be it drachma, IOUs, or something else — it does not matter). I am pretty sure the actions of the European institutions will easily stand in any court. After all, there is no agreement that requires European institutions to pay the Greek government no matter what it does. Euro is a common currency, not a wealth transfer mechanism.

    • Kathimerini is reporting that the Greek government is considering a “somersault” — accepting Junker’s last offer, which means accepting the proposal from the institutions in writing and campaigning for the Yes vote in the referendum. Any thoughts on the credibility of this report?

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Greece can print trillions of Euros and the finger is getting huge

  4. Dreams…. Everyone from W. Europe is against Greece, so the laws will be changed soon and Greece will be out. In addition, how Greece are planing to stay on EU table after its debt will move to other EU countries. Are Greece still waiting for another “free lunch”? Why not trying to be in a union with Zimbawe and Cuba …

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Please clean up your language too and delete the 70% that you have stolen from Greek – although still pronouncing wrong because you couldn’t find the Ancient Greeks – and then go back into the woods with what’s left of your language: Ugly barbarian mouth-fartz

  5. I am not sure that Varoufakis is now not just playing with people with this story (like he tweeted at 4h on Sunday that there will not be capital controls)
    I would say that exiting of euro will not happen by them throwing us out of the monetary union (so he can fight with them), but we will ask to exit ourselves.
    After this Monday (if we say “no”) nothing big will happen immediately, they will just not provide more help (and wait) and we will continue this agony that we are living these days. Then by the end of month (if we can live the whole month like this… because I think some shortages of some goods will emerge also) the time will come to pay public servants and pensioners. Since there will be no money for sure… our government would be forced to ask exiting in order to print money and pay salaries. And that would be the end of the euro here. There is also one other possibility, the government to print IOUs and have kind of parallel currency… but this will also be short-lived (maybe we can buy another month or so, until people realize how worthless this new thing is).
    All in all… in my opinion, disaster is in front of us. 🙁

    • I agree this message does not help Varoufakis’s credibility.

      The scary part is: Greece cannot ask to exit the euro zone (according to the current rules). However, it can ask to leave the EU (which, for example, UK can do if they vote for that in their referendum). That will automatically result in Greece exiting the euro zone, but it will have much bigger repercussions.

      • Although there are no polls for this, I guess that the majority of the people in Europe wants Greece within the EU.

        If that is the case, rules are not a problem.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Supported by the credibility of EU-media one can say that he is not minister any more, since months and one can see it everyday; he must be a double or a hallucination

      • Here I count on greek geostrategical importance… so USA to push a bit for changing that rules so we can stay at least in EU 🙂

        • @Lucas, @m&m

          I would agree with you, that the rules will be changed for the new circumstances to allow euro zone exit without a EU exit… except if Tsipras starts obstructing the work of the EU. If he decides to play a spoiler (e.g., next time blocks the extension of the EU sanctions against Russia, while everyone else supports them — albeit some doing it grudgingly), then US will probably drop Greece support like a stone and the Greek EU membership might be in danger.

          Such dark scenario is not out of the question (although it is probably not the most likely scenario). Tsipras miscalculated time and again thinking that he believes he can strengthen his negotiating position by escalating. It is an idea that might have been reinforced in his mind during his years as radical student leader. Such behavior has brought him far; he might not necessarily stop now. He also hinted that his government might oppose the EU sanction extension against Russia on his first day in office. Of course, Washington is not happy with Greek participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project as well.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            The only strategic geo that counts for Greece is 200 miles south of Crete but as it appears so far only Israel, Egypt and more and more Turkey understand this.

      • Greece has no intention of exiting EU. Far too dangerous.

  6. What has happened to Mr. Varoufakis flaming passion for democracy?

    If the other members decide to exclude a member they can do so based on democracy. All laws given to the EU can be changed by majorities inside the EU.

    Of course those decisions can be overruled by a court, but the idea a exclusion would take place only after a court ruling is simply under informed. A default towards the IMF is basically an exclusion from further political influence.

    Do not hate me, I am just the messenger.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      You’re not a messenger as messengers flow with 30 mph through traffic and have to ignore traffic rules to make a living.
      These EU-rules won’t get changed as EU-members can only get kicked out for blatant fouls against human-rights, like in a dictatorship, so states like Slovakia and Hungary would have to leave much earlier for their anti-Gypsy actions.

    • Nope. Completely wrong. All EU treaty changes require 100% agreement, so one country can block anything. Only detailed areas of policy (specific small laws) can be passed by majority vote with the EP also having a say.

      Try reading some books on EU law and policy making before you post such things.

      • Books? You can find a book about this topic? Remarkable, I did not know that people already wrote a book about it in Greece and never published it.

        If you can lower your standard a bit and would like to read a paper, try reading this one: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scplps/ecblwp10.pdf

        They are not real books, but maybe you can learn a thing or two. As for Greece blocking decisions, enjoy your confidence.

        • I am familiar with that ECB paper, thank you. And no, I do not need to read it again. You must have failed to understand it properly. Everything I told you is correct, and has been the case since I studied EC law in the mid 1980s. The eurozone is a more recent and unknown area of law, which is why the Legal Department of the European Commission published several years ago an Opinion on the legal issues.

          And your arrogance is beyond belief. It has nothing to do with Greece: it is about the law of the EU. The books are in many languages, but mostly in English with some in german and french. Either read them, or defer to people who actually know what they are talking about.

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          If you want books in Greek go ask a cabbie for the bazar or check amazon