• Germany's news in English

Opposition vents fury over new EFSF extension

The Local · 19 Oct 2011, 16:00

Published: 19 Oct 2011 16:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to a report in Wednesday’s Financial Times Deutschland, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has told MPs from the three government parties that the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is to be given extra levers to give bondholders extra guarantees, boosting its effective financial might to a maximum of €1 trillion.

The British Guardian newspaper even suggested on Tuesday that France and Germany were preparing to create a European bailout fund worth €2 trillion euros.

The UK paper calculated that the by insuring the state loans, the lending capacity of the EFSF – currently €440 billion – would multiplied fivefold. “The EFSF will in effect become an insurer,” the paper wrote.

Schäuble is said to have assured government MPs that Germany’s guarantee limit of €211 billion would not be lifted any further.

“There were several critical questions,” one unnamed Free Democratic Party (FDP) MP told the paper after the meeting. And there was also apparently much grumbling from Schäuble’s own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Government MPs had already expressed concern when rumours spread at the end of September that a measure to multiply the EFSF’s financial power was being considered.

Opposition parties, particularly the socialist Left party, have expressed outrage at the news. “It is unbelievable, what is happening,” Left party head Klaus Ernst told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday. He said that the risks of such a measure “would once again be passed onto the taxpayer.”

He also criticized the EFSF and the aid measures being handed out to debt-laden countries like Greece, saying they did nothing but aid the financial system, not the countries. “It just allows the banks to carry on speculating as they like,” he said.

The Green party has demanded that the German parliament, the Bundestag, have a say in any measures that would extend the EFSF. Green party parliamentary leader Volker Beck said that such a measure would “substantially change the modalities” of EFSF guidelines.

That means, argued Beck, the measure would require the approval of the parliamentary chamber, and not just the approval of the parliamentary budget committee.

Talks to prepare a host of meetings in Brussels that will culminate in an EU summit which could make or break the euro are proceeding "positively", a German government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Story continues below…

"There are extremely intensive discussions, extremely intensive conferences, phone calls, meetings in Brussels" to prepare the summit on Sunday, finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus told a regular government briefing.

The Local/DAPD/AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:53 October 19, 2011 by Englishted
How about giving the people a vote on the way Europe is being run?

At the moment the left is right ,all the tax payers are doing is helping the haves at the expense of the poorest and weakest in society.

All shout about democracy in other places how about some closer to home.
18:16 October 19, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Isn't this what the OWS Protests are REALLY about? For MORE Bailouts? Even when logic should be dictating otherwise?
22:18 October 19, 2011 by toemag
Who cares, they don't :-(
10:34 October 20, 2011 by luckylongshot
The whole bailout thinking is incredibly stupid. If a country has borrowed too much and can't pay its way the answer is not putting it further into debt. The bailouts only delay the crisis and exacerbate it by making the debt burden larger. They do not provide a cure to the problem. The likely reason that bailouts are being promoted is that they protect the interests of the Rothschild controlled banking system rather than being in the interests of the 99%.
13:16 October 20, 2011 by storymann
luckylongshot I agree. Throwing money at this will not solve the problem.

One can understand the need to build confidence in the ability of the Euro Zone to stop the debt contagion.

But what about Spain,Portugal and Italy? Why not cut you losses and move on.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd