The German constitutional court has already played a substantial role in the country's participation in the European bailout. Back in September when noting the first participation of the court in the European rescue machinery we noted that "giving the Bundestag’s Budget Committee the final say over the use of the bailout fund is welcome from a democratic point of view, but will add another element of uncertainty to the eurozone crisis. However, so far the Budget Committee has consistently taken the government line on the bailout, albeit reluctantly, and it remains to be seen whether it dares to exercise its new power." It appears the court has once again decided to step up only this time not in a favorable light, after, as Spiegel reports, that the court has "issued a temporary injunction banning the nine-person committee in the Bundestag from taking any decisions on the deployment by EFSF of German taxpayer money." In addition to this, the Court also put the whole German fast-track approval process in jeopardy after it expressed "doubts about the legality of a new panel of lawmakers set up by the German parliament to reach quick decisions on the release of funds from the euro bailout mechanism." This is hardly the ringing endorsement the EURocrats needed to hear from the only power in Europe with the funds to keep the EMU together.
Germany's highest court has issued a temporary injunction banning the work of a new panel convened by the country's parliament to quickly green-light decisions on disbursement of taxpayer funds through the euro bailout program. The decision could lead to further delays in German decision-making in efforts to rescue the beleaguered common currency.
Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Friday expressed doubts about the legality of a new panel of lawmakers set up by the German parliament to reach quick decisions on the release of funds from the euro bailout mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The court issued a temporary injunction banning the nine-person committee in the Bundestag from taking any decisions on the deployment by EFSF of German taxpayer money.
The special committee was recently created in order to be able to provide a quick green light for EFSF aid in especially urgent situations in which it wouldn't be feasible to put the issue up for a vote before full parliament. The decision from the court, located in Karlsruhe, could also slow down Bundestag approval of the further application of German credit guarantees within the scope of the euro backstop fund.
SPD members of parliament Peter Danckert and Swen Schulz submitted their complaint on Thursday, expressing their concern that the nine-member panel might violate their rights as members of the legislative chamber.
Germany's own supercommittee:
The committee had been scheduled to convene its very first meeting on Friday. In September, Germany's highest court ruled that the Bundestag must be given a greater say in euro bailout decisions given the degree to which the common currency rescue could impose on parliament's right to create Germany's budget. In response, the Bundestag on Wednesday moved to include provisions for parliamentary co-determination of positions taken by Germany on the euro bailout at European Union summits in Brussels. Under the multilevel process, depending on the importance, the urgency and confidentiality, decisions can either be approved by the entire 620-member Bundestag, by the 41-person budget committee or by the nine-member special panel.
And we thought decisions made by our own central planning 10-person Fed supercommittee were bad: Germany just one upped our own all-knowing overlords with its very own 9-person star chamber, which without a shadow of a doubt, represents the entire German population with perfect accuracy.
Logically, we next expect the 9 member special panel to be also made redundant by a 1 person uber-committee. That will occur at roughly the time the much anticipated Keynesian fireworks begin...