Merkel's CDU party mulls eurozone exit permits: report
MPs in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing conservative party are mulling a move to permit countries to exit the eurozone without leaving the EU, a report said Thursday.
The motion, which calls for any country's departure to be on a voluntary basis, is set to be discussed at the Christian Democrats' (CDU) party congress next week, the German business daily Handelsblatt said.
It states that if any eurozone member continually fails to keep to the rules of the single currency it can voluntarily leave the eurozone without exiting the European Union.
"The strategy until now of defending every millimetre of the eurozone is, in the long term, the most expensive solution for Germany," the paper quoted CDU Euro MP Markus Pieper as saying.
The European Union's Lisbon Treaty, the bloc's rule-book, does not provide for a country to quit the eurozone without leaving the European Union, the EU's executive arm said last week.
"The treaty doesn't foresee an exit from the eurozone without exiting the EU," Commission spokeswoman Karolina Kottova told a regular media briefing.
Seeking to clarify, she later told AFP that "the treaty does not provide for an exit from the euro, the treaty solely provides for the possibility of an exit from the EU."
Another CDU proposal to overhaul the balance of power within the European Central Bank is also likely to feature at the party's congress in the eastern city of Leipzig on Monday and Tuesday.
The party wants votes at the policy-setting governing council to be weighted according to a country's economic size and importance, rather than each of the 17 eurozone member states having an equal say, as is currently the case.
© 2011 AFP