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German court to decide on eurozone rescue lawsuit by mid September

(Xinhua)

08:33, July 17, 2012

BERLIN, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A German constitutional court in Karlsruhe announced Monday that it will deliver a final verdict regarding a lawsuit on whether measures to tackle the euro crisis violate the German constitution in mid September.

The German court's decision on a temporary injunction is set to prolong the government's process of enacting the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone's permanent bailout fund, and a fiscal pact aimed at tightening budget discipline.

The Federal Constitutional Court, Germany's highest court, will rule on whether the two bills are legal. The final injunction will be announced by Sept. 12 this year.

German President Joachim Gauck held off signing the two bills into law after complaints from the radical left party and some parliamentarians who were obstinately opposed to the bills. They filed a lawsuit with the constitutional court despite the bills being passed by parliament on June 29.

The bills propose tightening budgetary discipline across the eurozone and boosting its 500 billion euros (611 billion U.S. dollars) permanent bailout fund. German plaintiffs complained that Merkel's government deprived the legislature of its right to have its voice heard during the process of aiding debt-ridden eurozone countries.

The ESM will not come into force until Germany, Europe's strongest economy, formally ratifies it. Any delays in doing so would plunge markets into chaos as nervous sentiments run riot over the prospect of a lengthy legal battle.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble earlier urged the court to reach a verdict in a quick, efficient way. He said it was an extraordinarily critical situation with the risk of contagion to the whole eurozone very high.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had stood up for the court's independence in the jurisdictive procedure during a television appearance on Sunday.

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