ECB’s Mersch says euro membership is irreversible

Membership of the eurozone is irreversible and leaving the single currency is not foreseen in the European Union’s treaty, a top European Central Bank official said on Tuesday.

“We consider participation in the euro area to be irreversible and it is on this assumption that the regulations and the treaty have been written,» ECB executive board member Yves Mersch told the European Parliament.

He was being quizzed by EU lawmakers on what would happen if Greece left the euro area and the ECB’s new T2S euro-denominated securities settlement system being launched next week.

A standoff between Greece and its euro zone and international creditors continued on Tuesday, raising the prospect of a debt default within two weeks.

Mersch said he would not speculate on any country leaving the euro, adding that the European approach to a problem was a cooperative one, to have agreement even on «difficult situations.”

Greece’s participation in the first wave of countries migrating securities settlement to T2S would contribute to its financial stability, Mersch said. [Reuters]