Bloomberg News

Dutch Seek Possibility of Expelling Euro Nations, Rutte Says

November 15, 2011

(Adds German vote, FT article starting in third paragraph. EXT4 <GO> for more on the euro-region debt crisis.)

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called for the possibility of euro members to be expelled from the currency group.

“We would like countries to be able to be pushed out of the euro zone,” Rutte said at a news conference in London today, adding that this would be a last resort.

Rutte said the Netherlands would support a more powerful European commissioner to monitor the euro area, with sanctions including restricting voting rights. He spoke a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party voted to allow euro states to quit the currency area, endorsing the prospect of a move not permitted under euro rules.

“We have to put out the fire” of the sovereign debt crisis, Rutte said. “That means fiscal consolidation in Italy and Greece. At the same time prevent another fire from happening.”

Rutte raised the possibility of expulsions from the euro area in an article he wrote with Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager for the Financial Times two months ago.

“Whoever wants to be part of the euro zone must adhere to the agreements and cannot systematically ignore the rules,” they wrote. “In the future, the ultimate sanction can be to force countries to leave the euro. That will require a treaty amendment and is therefore a measure for the longer term.”

--With assistance from Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam. Editors: Eddie Buckle, Jennifer M. Freedman

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Eddie Buckle at ebuckle@bloomberg.net


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