EMU Protocol (Greece)

Greece adopted the Euro, expanding the number of members of the European Union's single currency area from eleven to twelve on 1 January, 2001.

ISDA developed the EMU Protocol for the transition of the Greek Drachma to the Euro in 2001. ISDA published the EMU Protocol (Greece) on 10 October 2000, allowing market participants dealing in the Greek Drachma to multilaterally achieve a smooth changeover to the Euro. The adherence period for the EMU Protocol (Greece) ended on 15 December 2000.

As with the original ISDA EMU Protocol published on 6 May 1998, adhering to the EMU Protocol (Greece) simplified the process of amending contracts entered into using ISDA's standard form documentation. If undertaken through bilateral negotiation, contractual amendments to address Greek adoption of the Euro could be extremely time consuming and expensive. For a fuller discussion of the reasons for the protocol approach, see 1998 FAQs.


This FAQ does not purport and should not be considered to be a guide to or explanation of all relevant issues or considerations in connection with the EMU Protocol (Greece). In particular, this FAQ only addresses issues which are particular to the EMU Protocol (Greece) and set it apart from the original EMU Protocol. It does not cover the general rationale, mechanics or provisions of the EMU Protocol (Greece) insofar as these are largely the same as in the original EMU Protocol. Please click here to access the FAQ in respect of the original EMU Protocol.

Parties should consult with their legal advisers and any other adviser they deem appropriate prior to using the EMU Protocol (Greece). ISDA assumes no responsibility for any use to which any of its documentation or any definition or provision contained therein may be put.

Is it necessary to adhere to the EMU Protocol (Greece) if we have already adhered to the original EMU Protocol?

It is of course true that adherence to the original EMU Protocol continues to be effective in respect of matching Annexes and as between matching counterparties in relation to agreements entered into prior to adherence to the original EMU Protocol. However, because the original EMU Protocol was produced in the context of the "first wave" of eleven participating member states and the particular state of legislation and market conditions as they stood at that time, it is unlikely as a strict legal and technical matter that the previous provisions would be able to "look forward" and encompass the new parameters of Greek entry to EMU. For example, terms such as "participating member states" and "national currency unit" are defined in the original EMU Protocol by reference to their definitions in Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 as that Regulation stood at the time, viz. without any reference to Greece or the currency of Greece. The original EMU Protocol also makes references to the "start of the third stage" of EMU which are simply incorrect or at least anomalous in the context of Greek participation in EMU.

It should also be remembered that parties may have transactions referencing the Greek Drachma or Greek Drachma price sources with counterparties that did not adhere to the original EMU Protocol. Agreements in respect of such transactions would not be subject to the amendments set out in the original EMU Protocol.

Will the EMU Protocol (Greece) allow my firm to amend Master Agreements executed after the date of adherence?

Because adherence to the Protocol by two parties to an ISDA Master Agreement amends the ISDA Master Agreement between them, it follows that the Protocol will only be effective in respect of ISDA Master Agreements actually existing at the time the second of the parties adheres. It would not be possible to amend something which does not currently exist. However, the Annexes to the Protocol may be used in connection with a pending or unexecuted ISDA Master Agreement by making express reference to them in the Schedule to the agreement when it is executed. ISDA has developed language to allow for the incorporation of Protocol Annexes.