The Lisbon Treaty took effect last December: it took nearly a decade for this European Treaty reform to become a reality. And because this round of reforms took so agonisingly long, most of the weary participants infer that there are to be no further treaty reforms in the foreseeable future. Whether the Greek crisis will augment the general inclination to make what would be per se a desirable change in the fiscal policy provisions of the treaties is debatable. Despite the pressure exerted by the crisis, it is unlikely there will be any attempts soon to make new changes in the treaties with a view to disenfranchising inveterate backsliders, let alone expelling them from the monetary union.

A few months ago, at any rate, few Europeans would have imagined the treaty reform buzz would be back again so soon. Most of us were hoping that thanks to the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union would now be finally entering into a phase of internal consolidation and external reinforcement. That hope may have been audacious or simply unrealistic from the outset: in any case, it has now been dashed by the financial and debt crises. Instead we are now discussing the risks to the eurozone brought on by the Greek calamity; taxpayers and politicians alike are worried about the stability of the euro and the cohesiveness of the monetary union.

Is the monetary union irreversible?

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