German Court to Rule on Legality of European Rescue Fund

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 1:30 am (UTC-5)
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Germany's Constitutional Court is set to rule Wednesday on a legal challenge to the country's participation in the European Union rescue fund.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of six lawmakers and professors, who argue the initial economic bailout of Greece and the subsequent formation of the $620 billion eurozone bailout fund violate both German and EU law.

The group says the bailouts violate the German constitution, which gives parliament the right to determine how taxpayer money is spent. The suit also claims shared debt responsibility is illegal according to EU treaties.

The German court ruling is not expected to endanger existing German aid to cash-strapped eurozone countries, but it could set conditions for future support packages and require greater German influence in determining bailout funds.

The EU emergency rescue fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility, was created in May, 2010 to provide economic rescue packages to heavily indebted countries that use the euro currency.

Germany's parliament voted to participate in the EFSF, and the government has defended its participation in the fund as an emergency measure necessary to ensure the stability of the European currency.