Thursday, September 09, 2010

Will Germany trash its cunningly crafted Constitution?

None in the world should under-estimate the gravity of the situation that would arise should the German Constitutional Court rule that recent breaches of the EU Treaties will be given legality in Germany. On 7th September, at the invitation of Open Europe, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hankel – one of the five German Professors who have challenged the legality of the eurozone bailout of Greece at the German Federal Constitutional Court, gave a presentation in London during which he argued as follows as described here: Hankel argued that the €1 trillion eurozone bailout package agreed jointly by the EU, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund are illegal on three grounds: it violates the “no bailout” clause in the EU Treaties, it violates the ECB’s own rules (through the ECB’s decision to buy government bonds) while the IMF also violates its own rules through its involvement.

He also warned that the “ammunition” of the €1 trillion rescue package “may not be sufficient” to sustain the eurozone in the long-term. If also private depositors in the weaker eurozone economies begin to put their money elsewhere, “we’re looking at a far greater amount”, he said.

Professor Hankel said that the chances that the German Constitutional Court would rule the bailout illegal were good. He said that “contrary to the last complaint [made against the euro in the 1990s], now the court has accepted the complaint from the first minute, it has not been rejected.” He said that while the Constitutional Court has a political composition, it is still wary of its reputation, and will fear public opinion. He said that “Nobody can deny what has happened…in the case of the European treaties it’s a clear cut break of articles and paragraphs, it was forbidden to bail out…and therefore I think the limits for a political judgment are very narrow, at least narrower than ten years ago.”

As I argued in my novel 'Millennium Blitzkreig' written in the mid nineteen-nineties, the danger to Europe's peace and democracy from the institution that has now become the EU, only becomes live should a re-united Germany sacrifice its own democracy and the protections cleverly crafted into the original West German Constitution as drafted by the Western Allies. Prof. Hankel concluded that his court case was ultimately about democracy, as the creation of the new EU rescue mechanism represented a clear move “from a federation of states to a federal state”. The former wartime Allied powers should not stand idly by in the event that the Court rules (as it has recently tended to do) that these further erosions of democracy are acceptable to the new united German state. They have an historical duty so to do made especially poignant this week given the passing of the 70th anniversary of the bombing of London which was also noted last Tuesday. It would be imperative that the leaders of those powers demand a meeting with the German Chancellor to determine the changed objectives of his/her country especially given Germany's overbearing role within the structure of the powerful and non-democratically constructed European Union.



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