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Greece Withdrawal from European Hotel California

Greece Withdrawal from European Hotel California

Hotel California the lovely top hit song from the Eagles’ album of the same name that they released as a single in February 1977. The last line sounds to be fitting to the European Union.

The lyrics describe an establishment as a luxury resort where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed of the late 1970s. The abstract nature of the lyrics has led listeners to their own interpretations over the years.

Enjoy the lyrics first; then proceed to the grim question of could a Member State Leave the European Union and/or Euro-zone ?

Hotel California

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
This could be heaven or this could be hell
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the captain,
Please bring me my wine
He said, we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty-nine
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They living it up at the hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said we are all just prisoners here, of our own device
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
Relax, said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

Rights of withdrawal from the European Union; Does a right of withdrawal exist?

The treaties were concluded “for an unlimited period”
● Article 53, TEU
● Article 356, TFEU
Accordingly, there is no right to withdraw from the EU unless such a right can be inferred or implied from treaty itself (Article 56, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. However, Article 50 TEU (inserted by Lisbon) now allows a Member State to withdraw from the EU in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

Provisions dealing with negotiation of withdrawal do not specifically deal with a Member State also departing from Eurozone. So there is a mechanism for withdrawal which comprises both EU and Eurozone membership under Article 50. This is followed by immediate re-application solely for EU membership under Article 49.

Rights of Withdrawal from the Eurozone

The Treaties do not create an express right of withdrawal from Eurozone. No right of withdrawal can be implied since inconsistent with Article 140(3), TFEU (which refers to the irrevocable fixing of the euro substitution rate for the acceding currency)

There is therefore no procedure available under which Member State can leave Eurozone but remain within EU. In strictly legal terms, such an outcome could only be achieved by a revision of the Treaties.

Both Member State in difficulties and all other Member States may agree that Eurozone departure would be in best interests of all. What legal avenues are open to them? Amendment/ratification of Treaties would be very time- consuming and would not answer a pressing urgency.

Suspension of treaty is allowed for a period, but merely gives time and does not affect overall legal position among the parties (Articles 60 and 72, Vienna Convention). There is therefore no treaty or legally-based mechanism allowing for a Eurozone (as opposed to an EU) exit on an urgent basis.

There is no easy way out of the Eurozone – voluntarily or compulsorily. This is to be expected given the inter-connected nature of the currency and of the European financial markets.

A Eurozone departure is not necessarily a remedy for the fiscal ills of the departing Member State and (unless a “position of strength” departure) is likely to increase its debt servicing costs, given that many external creditors will remain entitled to claim payment in Euro. Local creditors in the departing Member State itself and holders of domestic law obligations are the most likely to be disadvantaged by the withdrawal.

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