Wed Sep 12th, 2012 at 05:57:44 AM EST
Little quick and dirty diary to commemorate the Day when the German Constitutional Court broke the back of the Euro.
Or not. Stay tuned...
Liveblog on the Guardian, from which I lift the following press roundup of prognostication :
Eurozone crisis live: German court rules on euro bailout fund | Business | guardian.co.uk
Germany Spiegel newspaper says there is "great nervousness" ahead of the ruling, which it dubs "Die 700-Milliarden-Euro-Entscheidung" (The 700-billion-euro decision):
Hardly anyone expects the three women and five men [judges] will rule the ESM is unconstitutional and stop the permanent euro bailout fund completely. But the question is what conditions the court might require.
German tabloid Bild asks: Was ist, wenn das Bundesverfassungs-Gericht heute NEIN sagt? (What if the Federal Constitutional Court now says NO?). If that happens:
World stock markets could collapse, [triggering] the beginning of a global economic crisis.
Our own Kate Connolly writes:
All eyes are on the constitutional court president, Andreas Vosskühle, who will deliver the historical verdict at 10am local time on Wednesday. Vosskühle, a quietly spoken 48-year-old lover of abstract art who eschews the limelight, is believed to support the growing concern in Germany that too much power is being ceded to Brussels. He once said the citizens of Germany "shouldn't one morning wake up and find out that the people they elected have nothing to decide anymore"
The BBC's Gavin Hewitt points out that the Court ruling has already delayed the implementation of the ESM by two months:
On Wednesday the eight judges of the Germany's Federal Constitutional Court will put on their red robes and deliver key verdicts on two of the eurozone's new structures. Some say it will be the most important decision in the court's history.
Reuters agrees that the Court will probably impose some conditions on the German government:
Transferring too many powers to European institutions could be seen as violating a post-World War Two constitution and legal tradition that emphasises the sovereignty of parliament, intended to safeguard democracy after Germany's Nazi past.
The court may ask head of state Joachim Gauck to attach a reservation to the treaties addressing concerns about respecting Bundestag powers to limit German financial liability.
The Financial Times says today is "Decision Day" for the bailout fund, and suggests several conditions that could be added:
Previous judgments have insisted on closer Bundestag control over EU legislation, but that has now been largely established. An alternative restriction to answer the complaint of "unlimited" German liability would be to require Mr Gauck to attach a proviso limiting Germany's total exposure to the 211bn approved by the Bundestag.
Another suggestion made by the plaintiffs is that the court should insist on a termination clause being written into the treaties, allowing any member state to give notice to quit the agreements. If Germany were to insist on that, it would give other countries the right to abandon the fiscal compact and its German-inspired cast iron rules for budget discipline.
Finally the judges could set out limits on any further steps to provide German guarantees for its partners, such as jointly-guaranteed eurozone bonds.
José Emmanuel Barroso's annual State of the Union Adress, live from 9am Euro summer time. (As if anybody cared what he says...)
Also, Dutch general election today, which could provide a crucial push in the direction of expansionary economic policy if Labour end up with the advantage.