Business World

Friday 23 February 2018

Ruling likely to create new woes for Merkel


TODAY'S decision in Karlsruhe has more than a passing resemblance to the Crotty case here in Ireland, when Ray Crotty took the government to court in 1987.

Like many of the plaintiffs challenging the German government, Mr Crotty was both an academic and an economist who worried about Europe's democratic deficit.

Back then, the Supreme Court took the government by surprise when three of the five judges backed some of Mr Crotty's complaints, forcing governments since that day to hold referendums on major revisions to the Treaty of Rome, much to the annoyance of our European partners.

This time around, the smart money also assumes the state will prevail in the contest. We could well see attempts to ensure that Germany's parliament has a bigger say in European matters. This will place a not-too-subtle pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successors.

Ms Merkel is already spooked by a minor rebellion within her coalition over the European Financial Stability Facility and more are likely as the 2013 elections near and deputies position themselves as euro sceptics to court the public.

Such a ruling would probably make euro bonds a little less likely; good news for those who fear a federal Europe without a powerful parliament, but bad news for countries that do not have sustainable finances.

Irish Independent

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