WSJ: EU: Capital-flow limits only for public safety
BRUSSELS--Restricting movement of people or funds within the European Union can only be done if public safety is at risk and not for economic reasons, the European Commission said Tuesday.
Asked about reports that capital controls could be put in place if Greece were to leave the single currency, Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said that EU rules on capital flows and the Schengen agreement on passport-free cross-border travel can only be suspended in specific circumstances.
"There is a possibility for member states to restrict movement of capital in specific cases relating to public order and public security," Bailly told reporters, adding that this couldn't be done for economic reasons.
He added that while there may be discussions about various scenarios for the single currency bloc, the Commission's role is to provide legal information in its role as the EU's executive--and that it isn't working on plans, as some have suggested.
"Some people are working on scenarios, we are providing information about EU laws as the guardian of the treaties," he said. "The Commission is not working on a Greek exit plan."
"We're working on one plan and one plan only and that's to keep Greece in the euro zone," he added.