Judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court
Way for uninhibited €-Rescue
The vast coalition of unrestrained € rescuer now has free rein. That there should be no automatic transfer to a Union is no more than lip service. Karlsruhe ruled in an otherwise unknown fear of burning their fingers. An analysis
By Joachim Jahn
07th September 2011
The vast coalition of unrestrained € rescuer now has free rein: The Federal Constitutional Court has made it abundantly clear that it would drop the policy only at an "evident from the extreme limits exceeded" in the arm. This otherwise has the sole right to the likelihood of fiscal risks and their economic viability assessed. That should give it no automatic transfer into a union, such as court president Andreas Voßkuhle announced at the same time, since no more than lip service. For such a momentum is created already in the current bailout. Apply a fortiori it is scheduled after its expansion and perpetuation.
Even the much-awaited integration of the Parliament, the guardian of the Basic Law has falls disappointingly weak: a mere approval of the Budget Committee for further cash injections, the upcoming quarter will amount to € trillion is enough. Even the simple majority is sufficient for this purpose. The full Parliament will not be asked.
Judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court: the uninhibited way for Euro-Rescue
These targets fall well short of what demand Bundestag President Norbert Lammert (CDU) and other coalition members, so that the government does not receive carte blanche for the inappropriate attempt to rein in tax money with the European financial markets. The elected officials want a graduated level of veto rights - depending wants to empower each how far the Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), Brussels institutions to dispose of German budget.
Real barriers to miss Euro Bonds
Anyone who wants to may be read from the verdict, at least arguments against the introduction of euro bonds. Real barriers erected against it, but unfortunately not here. Too well without wanting to, has the judge's decision the proponents of ever more bailouts even a back door: the debt brake, which has taken the Bundestag now in the Basic Law applies, but for taking out loans, but - at least the wording - not for the acquisition of warranties.
Recognizable, the Karlsruhe judges had not even raise any objections when a handful of politicians in a future budget crisis, panic would guarantee equal to several times the annual federal budget to support the national debt from Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. Because the budget would be formally law - alleged the right of every Parliament - guaranteed even then.
Responsibility for all the policy mistakes
That the Federal Constitutional Court is not a substitute legislator is soaring, in principle, a rational attitude. The Bundestag - and thus the government - elected by the citizens to make policy. A small group of judges will not allow it. And even the legal arguments of the different group of plaintiffs had to convince not all of them. But there was discernible in this case, in Karlsruhe, otherwise most unprecedented fear of burning their fingers.
No one should be able to say some day, so apparently is the motto behind the closed door of the consulting room, the Constitutional Court judges deceive any blame for a possible tightening of fiscal and debt crisis. Thus, the Second Senate has underlined the responsibility of the policy for all failures - at the same time, however, refused to take responsibility themselves.
Opponents of the current bailout policy now remains only to rely on those passages that support their arguments. Even in an "intergovernmental governance system" the representatives of the people control over basic decisions have to keep in budget policy, it says in one of the mottos. Your budget responsibility, they should not be transmitted through an indefinite appropriations to "other stakeholders". In particular, they are likely to extradite any mechanisms that lead to unmanageable burdens without prior consent. Ammunition for these sentences are good at least because remains unpredictable, but when the judge would then crossed the Rubicon once.
Sounds like whistling in the woods on the other hand, what do the judges to comply with the EU treaties. This would be the understanding of national budgetary autonomy as an "essential, not entäußerbaren competence" of the Member States does not preclude, but actually put them ahead. That the judge in this context, the independence of the European Central Bank (ECB) call, and further the goal of price stability, the prohibition of direct repurchase of government securities by the monetary authorities and the prohibition of an assumption of liability (no-bail-out clause), has given the actual conditions only as gallows humor.
For compliance with these provisions, the Federal Constitutional Court does not feel responsible. That it has not filed the complaints then at least to the European Court of Justice, is regrettable. The Luxembourg judges have already developed to a higher authority, in whose power has virtually abdicated Karlsruhe.
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