German Left party seeks court order against euro measures | News | DW | 21.06.2012
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German Left party seeks court order against euro measures

A leftist opposition party in Germany hopes to stop two key eurozone crisis measures by a court injunction. The party claims that the European Stability Mechanism and the fiscal pact violate German sovereignty.

Germany's socialist Left party on Thursday threatened to file a motion with the Federal Constitutional Court to stop the expected ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal pact by the German parliament on June 29.

The small far-left opposition party claims that the ESM and the fiscal pact violate the rights of parliament, the Bundestag, and infringe on Germany's sovereignty by turning over certain budgetary responsibilities to the European Union in Brussels.

The Thursday edition of the daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported that the Left party wants to take its case before Germany's highest court as soon as the two measures have been approved by parliament as expected. The Bundestag votes on the ESM and fiscal pact next Friday.

"German policy cannot be determined abroad," Left party parliamentarian Wolfgang Neskovic told Reuters news agency, adding that sovereignty cannot be delegated.

The Left party holds 76 out of 621 seats in the German parliament.

Role of parliament

The ESM is designed to become the 17-member eurozone's permanent bailout fund for financially embattled member states. It is supposed to replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) on July 1. The ESM is expected to have some 500 billion euros ($633 billion) at its disposal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed hard for the fiscal pact, which is supposed to prevent exorbitant deficit spending, as a complement to the ESM. The pact requires the signatories to keep their annual structural deficits below 0.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or face sanctions from the European Court of Justice.

On June 19, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that Chancellor Merkel had failed to sufficiently consult parliament during EU negotiations on the ESM. The court said that parliament must be given the opportunity to influence the German government at an early enough stage during negotiations regarding Europe.

slk/jm (AFP, Reuters)