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Europe braces for bailout fund ruling

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 02:03

Sept. 11 -Europe is gearing up for a ruling in a German court that will decide the future of the bloc's bailout fund - many think it will go ahead but a referendum could be on the cards. Joanne Nicholson reports

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Many Germans don't want it but many euro zone leaders certainly do. A German court is about to rule on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism. These protestors say the 500 billion euro fund is unconstitutional and they don't want to bail out other countries. They also want the German budget to stay firmly in Berlin's control without interference from Europe. (SOUNDBITE) (German) ANTI-ESM DEMONSTRATOR, PHILIPP POREP, SAYING: "The ESM creates a botch which can then no longer be voted against. In my view, this ESM has nothing to do with democracy, freedom and sovereignty." Last week, Europe's Central Bank's chief, Mario Draghi, announced a new bond-buying plan to give relief to struggling economies. But the plan won't workout with the ESM. Andreas Lipkow from MWB Fairtrade believes Draghi has a problem (SOUNDBITE) (German) TRADER WITH MWB FAIRTRADE, ANDREAS LIPKOW, SAYING: "Theoretically it doesn't have the instruments available. Bond-buying can only happen with the ESM, that's why this vehicle has to be created and it has be be created in a way that supports the programme. Draghi has pushed himself into a political corner and that's why the ruling is so important." The judges are apparently well aware of the unease in the markets. Paul Mortimer Lee is from BNP Paribas. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL MORTIMER-LEE, GLOBAL HEAD OF MARKET ECONOMICS, SAYING: "The doomsday scenario would say this is not constitutional, it can't go ahead and there's really no money to bail out Spain or its banks. I think that's extremely unlikely simply because the amount of money is finite and the German government knows what it's letting itself in for." And it's not just the prospect of market havoc a "No" verdict could spark a constitutional crisis. The court could call for a referendum on the ESM. That's something the German Chancellor won't like as she tries to achieve closer fiscal and political union in order to secure the future of the euro. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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Europe braces for bailout fund ruling

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 02:03