Trichet calls for tougher sanctions for rule-breaking members

ECB President Proposes Exclusion of Rule-Breaking Eurozone Members from Political Decision-Making

In what seems an ominous warning to countries like Ireland, European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet has suggested that Eurozone members that break the region’s rules on public finances should be excluded temporarily from Europe’s political decision-making.

A Quantum Leap in Eurozone Governance

Trichet’s remarks, made in a controversial interview with the Financial Times, advocate for a temporary suspension of voting rights as a potential consequence for countries that fail to adhere to Eurozone rules. While he has consistently opposed the notion of outright expulsion, Trichet believes exploring the suspension of political influence could be a viable option.

Assessing the Impact of the Greek Crisis

While Trichet has always rejected the idea of any Eurozone member actually been thrown out, he did tell the FT that temporary suspension of voting rights was “something that should be explored”.
On a more positive note, Trichet insisted that the so-called Euro crisis created by the Greek debacle had not brought the Eurozone as close to disaster at all, as had been widely suggested. “Seen from the outside, I would say that it’s always difficult for external observers to judge and analyse correctly the capacity of Europe to face up to exceptional difficulties,” he told the FT.