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Schäuble confident in ESM, fiscal pact approval

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has expressed confidence that Germany’s highest court will not rule against the country’s participation in the European Stability Mechanism and the European fiscal pact.

Speaking at a conference in Strasbourg on Monday, Schäuble conceded that the Constitutional Court would carefully "examine these treaties to see whether or not they conform to German law," but he said that in the end, he was sure they would be approved.

The Constitutional Court is to hand down its ruling on the largely Germany-financed ESM, worth up to 500 billion euros ($630 billion), and the fiscal pact next Tuesday.

The Bundestag approved both measures in a parliamentary session two months ago, but President Joachim Gauck delayed signing the legislation into law after a number of legal challenges were filed against it.

The people and groups that filed the challenges argued that the measures would breach Germany's constitution, because they would result in Berlin no longer having complete control over budgetary decisions.

Should the Karlsruhe-based Constitutional Court rule against the ESM and the fiscal pact, both will be essentially rendered dead in the water, and the eurozone will be left without the cornerstone of its strategy to combat the sovereign debt crisis.

pfd/mz (dpa, Reuters, AFP)