German warning over EFSF ratification

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The president of Germany's parliament has warned Chancellor Angela Merkel against attempting to railroad measures to extend the eurozone's crisis fund through parliament next month.

"The European recovery mechanism issue is so important that parliament cannot debate it with the necessary care and vote on it in the course of just a few days," Norbert Lammert, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU), told Sunday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung paper.

"It will hardly be possible to deal with the matter between September 20 and 23," the time slot allocated by the government to push through the measures decided by European leaders on July 21 in a bid to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) fund to guarantee Greek bonds, he said.

European governments want to rush measures through their respective parliaments to steady the nerves of financial markets which saw panic selling over the past week.

"It's up to parliament itself to decide how much it needs to debate" the matter, Lammert added.

He also expressed concern that European leaders have failed to agree on mandatory sanctions against countries that mismanage their finances.

"I'm sure of one thing. The peace that is so much needed on financial markets cannot be achieved without automatic sanctions against countries that violate stability criteria," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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