German court hearing legal challenge to bailouts
Published 05/07/2011 | 12:34
Germany's Constitutional Court is currently hearing a legal challenge to the eurozone bailout loans.
As the hearing kicked off this morning, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who attended the court, claimed the loans had not violated either European or German law.
The plaintiffs include Peter Gauweiler, from the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative side and involves six euroskeptics.
They argue that the bailouts violate property rights and other protections in the German and European constitutions.
The also claim the European Union's 'no-bailout clause' has been violated.
The EU/IMF has already approved packages of €273bn for Ireland, Greece and Portugal while a second Greek bailout is also on the table.
While the court is unlikely to block bailouts, it is expected that new conditions may be imposed for future aid.
Ahead of the hearing, Mr Schaeuble said the government was sure that Germany's decision to commit to rescue funds "was necessary and right" and a means of safeguarding the euro.
"I cannot see that it violated the constitution in any way,” he told journalists.