8 Sep 2011

Court ruling on bailouts by Germany

6:07 am on 8 September 2011

The constitutional court in Germany has thrown out an attempt to stop German funds being used to bail out Eurozone countries facing debt crises.

The court rejected arguments that the first Greek bail-out broke German and European law.

However, the court said the government must give parliament a greater say before it commits German money to any future bail-out deal.

Presiding judge Andreas Vosskuhle said lawmakers should be more involved in future bailout decisions.

The BBC reports the case was brought by six prominent eurosceptics.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision vindicated her government and said that the existence of the euro meant more than just a common currency.

''The euro is the guarantor of a unified Europe, she said. ''If the euro collapses, Europe collapses.''

Since last year, eurozone nations have agreed to support Greece, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland via the European Financial Stability Facility, a fund created to help countries struggling to pay their debt obligations.

There are fears that other countries will also need financial assistance.

The BBC reports opinion in Germany remains split over the desirability to bail out other countries in Europe.

The court also ruled out the possibility of pooling the debt of countries in Europe.

This appears to rule out the issuance of eurobonds.