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'No ignoring Bundestag' Berlin tells EU

The Local · 6 Aug 2012, 12:52

Published: 06 Aug 2012 12:52 GMT+02:00

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Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said lawmakers had a crucial role to play that should not be undermined in times of turmoil.

"The parliamentary checks on European policy are beyond any debate," he said in a statement in response to Monti's remarks in Monday's issue of German news weekly Der Spiegel.

"We need a strengthening, not a weakening, of democratic legitimisation in Europe."

The parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc, Volker Kauder, said any European reforms that saw more power flow to Brussels must still respect the role of national legislatures.

"As a dyed-in-the-wool parliamentarian, I can only say that the rights of parliament or parliamentarianism must not be eliminated with a strengthening of executive institutions in Europe."

In an interview that prompted a fierce reaction among German deputies, Monti called on national leaders to maintain clear room for manoeuvre in relation to their national parliaments.

"If governments were to let themselves be bound completely by the decisions of their parliaments without maintaining their own scope for negotiation, Europe is more likely to break up than see closer integration," he warned.

The Federal Constitutional Court has repeatedly reasserted parliament's right to have its voice heard in Germany's response to the debt crisis.

The tribunal is to rule on September 12 on legal challenges to the setting up of a permanent crisis-fighting fund - the European Stability Mechanism - as financial markets nervously await a decision.

Asked about fears Monti voiced that tensions sparked by the eurozone crisis could rip Europe apart, deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter said Berlin did not share the concerns but called for "calm."

In his statement, Westerwelle called the at times toxic tone of the debate about the eurozone debt crisis "dangerous" for European unity.

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"Attempts to boost one's profile at home cannot be the force driving actions in any country in Europe, not in Germany either. The situation in Europe is too serious, there is too much in play," he said.

He was reacting to an interview with a member of Merkel's conservative bloc, Bavarian state Finance Minister Markus Söder, in which he said ailing Greece should exit the eurozone by year's end and not receive any more European aid.


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Your comments about this article

13:48 August 6, 2012 by IchBinKönig
haha. cute! as if sovereignty matters in the EU. There won't be sovereignty in the EU until WW3 takes it back. Any body that believes the Union will last is a fool. Anybody that believes that the money will be paid back is worse than that
14:19 August 6, 2012 by smart2012
Hi I am the king, I have to agree on your first point - strange we agree on something :-)

One example to explain the message I believe Monti wanted to give to Merkel:

- Greece agreed to an austerity plan, then the elections were coming and some of Greek politicians said that they may re-discuss the agreement. Merkel said: this is not acceptable as what it has been agreed in Brussels cannot be renogotiated.

- Germany has agreed on the crisis fighting fund at the end of June in Brussels, but now Parliament / Judges may change it... This is now acceptable????

Merkel / Germany is showing flexibility where it is good for them (in 2003 they missed the 3% deficit target, some countries asked to put control in place for monitoring countries and Germany did not agree), but they are unflexible where it is good for others... With Merkel / Germany in this way, Europe will die, for the disaster of Germany
15:59 August 6, 2012 by raandy
For certain Monti would like to see more power for Brussels, enabling the zone to have easier access to Germany's balance sheet.

The notion that EU nations would subjugate themselves to a higher power is unlikely to happen, as unlikely as the sale of Euro bonds with out Germany.

I do not think the pooling of EU debt will strengthen the zone only weaken the stronger members.The indebted nations are a black hole with out getting their economies up and running the infusion of liquidity will never end until the well goes dry.
16:32 August 6, 2012 by smart2012
@ raandy, did u notice that Germany manufacturing momentum has drastically fallen in the last 4 months? and unemployment figures are increasing since the last 3 months in germany? Do u think the process as it s today it works? As it is today Germany is weakaning, as there is reduced demand on its export from the rest of EU... I really get frustrated when propaganda is just giving one side view (Germany is good and can survice alone), which is the completely wrong message and it is bringing EU falling apart...
19:56 August 6, 2012 by NEUEVILLA
Why should the EU respect the German Parliament when it consistently ignores the British Parliament. Just another case of "The EU is all right, as long it doesn't do anything that is not good for Germany".
21:45 August 6, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Smart2012 is obviously a BIG fan of market-distorting, interfering, social-agenda pushing, big-government. Not sure what Propaganda he is talking about, considering that Germany was doing fine without the Euro.
10:49 August 7, 2012 by smart2012
Konig, if Germany was fine without euro, can u explain why the decided to create euro? Remember this was a French German driven decision. Please tell us
14:34 August 7, 2012 by cheeba

"Germany" did not decide to create the euro, two thirds of the German people were strongly opposed.

The German government decided to do this at a time when the countries political and judicial class labored under the thumb of one man. (who was accepting millions in " mystery money" which to this day he refuses to reveal the source of) even now, his chief apostles in particularly in the finance ministry, who also personally accepted bags of " mystery money" continue in government, well past retirement age, apparently to keep euro secrets. anything here you disagree with?
15:06 August 7, 2012 by smart2012
Unfortunately two thirds of "normal" German people is not really counting. Who counts (unfortunately) are deutsche bank, VW, Allianz, BMW, Thyssenkrupp etc etc. So u are telling me that only one person (Kohl) wanted this, and not the bank/car/Tanks lobbies...?.... LOL See below from wikipedia:

Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (German pronunciation: born 3 April 1930) is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany between 1982 and 1990 and of the reunited Germany between 1990 and 1998) and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck and oversaw the end of the Cold War and the German reunification. Kohl is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the German reunification and, together with French President François Mitterrand, the Maastricht Treaty, which contributed to the creation of the European Union.[1]

Kohl and Mitterrand were the joint recipients of the Karlspreis in 1988.[2] In 1998, Kohl was named Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European heads of state or government for his extraordinary work for European integration and cooperation, an honour previously only bestowed on Jean Monnet.[3] In 1996, he won the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in International Cooperation.[4]

Kohl has been described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush[5] and Bill Clinton.
16:41 August 7, 2012 by cheeba
I can agree with everything is the previous post, of course Kohl took into consideration the views of his buddies in big business.

One would wish in a democracy everyone's vote would count the same, but alas some do count more than others, bags of "mystery money" can and do make a difference as we all know.

BTW, have any of them ever come clean about the sources? Not the last time I heard.
17:24 August 7, 2012 by smart2012
Cheeba, happy that u agree. We r starting to become friend :)
12:40 August 8, 2012 by Floriansamsel
Mr. Westerwelle says: "The parliamentary checks on European policy are beyond any debate". I'm pleasantly surprised about this enlightenment. Is this a sign of hope and our government will remember that this principle does not only apply to EU issues but also to national issues or mixed ones?
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