Debt Crisis: German court blocks new committee appointed to oversee emergency measures
Published 28/10/2011 | 15:42
A GERMAN court has suspended a special committee’s right to approve urgent moves needed to activate proposed changes to the eurozone’s €440bn bailout facility.
The move potentially delays decision making by Germany on key measures needed to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
A spokeswoman for the Constitutional Court said it will investigate whether the planned used of a committee of nine politicians, who will meet behind closed door, infringes on the rights of lawmakers.
The decision was taken by the Federal Constitutional Court in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe after it upheld the complaint of two opposition deputies to stop the committee from making decisions about changes to the fund which is expected to be increased to €1 trillion.
The ruling, which says only parliament can approve such measures, is temporary pending a definitive decision by the tribunal.
The Bundestag had only created to committee on Wednesday in a bid to speed up decisions by German on the bailout fund.
Specifically, the committee would have been able to fast-track decisions about the European Financial Stability Facility bail-out fund for indebted European nations like Ireland, such as buying bonds or helping struggling banks.
The head of the EFSF, Klaus Regling, had insisted on Germany creating a rapid-response body to head off turmoil while markets await action.
Despite the delay, however, the chief whip for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, Peter Altmeier, said that parliament would ensure the EFSF could be activated when needed.
"The German Bundestag will ensure that until a final ruling is made, Germany's ability to take action and the ability of the European rescue fund to be used will be ensured at all times," he said.
"We will, if necessary, take quick and effective action."