• Germany's news in English

Germans agree on fiscal pact vote this month

The Local · 14 Jun 2012, 15:36

Published: 14 Jun 2012 15:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The deal between Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition and the centre-left opposition indicated that the eurozone's top economy would manage timely approval of tools seen as key to fighting the raging debt crisis.

"The just-agreed timetable ensures that the European Stability Mechanism, together with the fiscal pact, can come into force on time," the head of Merkel's Christian Union parliamentary group, Volker Kauder, said.

"We are now on track for Germany to live up to its responsibilities in Europe," he added in a statement.

His counterpart with the pro-business Free Democrats, Rainer Brüderle, agreed the deal sent the right message.

"It is important that we move to assure European stability as soon as possible," he said in a separate statement. "If the opposition sees that the same way, we welcome it."

Parliament must pass the draft laws on the fiscal treaty, a new European budgetary rule book, with a two-thirds majority.

However its quick passage, which the government aimed to see completed by the start of the summer recess on July 6, had been thrown into question by squabbling between the ruling parties and the opposition.

A spokesman for the parliamentary group of the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD), said the timetable did not imply an agreement on all the contentious points and that negotiations would continue.

The new roadmap would see the Bundestag lower house vote at 5 pm June 29, the spokesman for the Christian Union parliamentary group, Ulrich Scharlack, said, confirming earlier comments from party sources.

The draft laws would then move to a vote in the Bundesrat upper house, where Germany's powerful 16 regional states are represented, Scharlack said.

This would come after the scheduled end of a pivotal June 28 and 29 European Union summit on the eurozone crisis.

Driven through by Merkel and signed by 25 of the European Union's 27 member states, the fiscal pact aims to enforce stricter budgetary rules in the bloc and prevent the high public deficits that touched off the eurozone turmoil.

In addition to SPD deputies, members of the ecologist Green party have indicated they will support the fiscal pact but are demanding concessions in exchange.

They would like to see pledges that Berlin will push for a disputed EU-wide tax on financial transactions and would use the revenues from the levy to fund more growth-boosting measures.

SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel said Merkel recognised the need to commit to efforts to bolster growth and embraced the aim of taxing financial transactions.

But on the issue of growth in particular, he said that "there are no concrete proposals."

Gabriel and two other leading Social Democrats met French President Francois Hollande in Paris late Wednesday to discuss ways to get Europe out of the debt turmoil.

Story continues below…

Hollande has positioned himself as an advocate of growth rather than German-led austerity as the way out of Europe's debt crisis.

Designed as a successor to the EU's current bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has core funds of €500 billion to help struggling eurozone countries deal with the debt crisis.

Analysts said Germany's approval of the ESM by the end of the month would help it come into effect as planned on July 1.

"So far, only France, the Netherlands and Slovakia have approved. However, if cleared in Germany in time, the ESM is unlikely to be delayed further," Christian Schulz of Berenberg Bank said.

"Spain or Italy have every interest in approving it for lack of an alternative."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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 town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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