Berlin has 'good feeling' about court euro ruling

10th September 2012, Comments 0 comments

The German government is confident the country's top court will wave through key euro crisis tools when it issues a ruling this week, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.

The government is "convinced that the ESM is in line with the constitution ... and we are going into Wednesday with a good feeling in the hope that the court sees it the same way," spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular briefing.

In a judgement with international repercussions, the Constitutional Court in the western city of Karlsruhe will decide whether to admit a raft of complaints against the ESM, the eurozone's 500-billion-euro ($640 billion) rescue fund.

The court will also rule on the legality of the EU's fiscal pact, a treaty pushed through by Merkel at European level to ensure that countries never again run up the high deficits and debts that have caused the most recent crisis.

And a spokesman for the finance ministry rejected claims by a eurosceptic lawmaker from Merkel's Bavarian sister party, the CSU, that the European Central Bank's bond-buying plan unveiled last week changed the situation.

"From our perspective, nothing has changed ... our view is that the decision last week has nothing to do with the procedure," said Martin Kotthaus, referring to the ECB's bond-purchasing programme.

The eurosceptic MP, Peter Gauweiler, lodged an urgent complaint with the court on Sunday, calling on it to delay its decision on the ESM while it considered the ECB's decision.

On Thursday, the ECB said it might purchase unlimited amounts of the bonds of struggling eurozone countries as long as they submitted to strict conditions and apply for a bailout.

The news sent stocks and the euro soaring but was not universally popular in Germany, whose central bank chief voted against the plan, fearing that the bank was overstepping its mandate to keep inflation in check.

© 2012 AFP

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