Dramatic Changes in Germany
in Face of the Financial Blowout Crisis
June 1, 2010 (EIRNS)The latest surprising move which has been announced in Germany, in the context of the financial blowout and the population's resistance to funding one bailout after another, is the sudden resignation of the Minister president, Horst Köhler, on May 31. Such a move is unprecedented, and cannot be explained by the reasons he gave (criticism over a statement on Afghanistan). Some sources are reporting that his action may be related to the expectation that the German Constitutional Court will declare the latest bailout unconstitutional.
The Köhler move joins that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's move to curb financial speculation by banning certain short sales, and the constitutional challenges to the EU financial bailout, as reactions to a mass strike process of revolt against government policy. The effort to impose on Germany the costs of bailing out not only Greece, but next Spain, and along with it Britain, is too much, even for a nation too often prone to surrender sovereignty under blackmail.
Germany's resistance received support from a top French official, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche. In the May 28 issue of the Financial Times, he stated bluntly that the €750 billion bailout package for the Eurozone, and in particular the €440 billion guarantee fund, is a violation of the Lisbon Treaty. "It is an enormous change," Lellouche said. "It is expressly forbidden in the treaties by the famous no-bailout clause. De facto, we have changed the treaty."
In Lellouche's view, German Chancellor Merkel "was right" to say the EU could not be a "transfer zone," where rich members subsidized poorer ones. "The €440 billion mechanism is nothing less than the importation of NATO's Article 5 mutual defense clause applied to the eurozone. When one member is under attack the others are obliged to come to its defense."
Lellouche's statements certainly support challenges to the EU bailout package brought before the German Constitutional Court with exactly those arguments, as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung observed on May 30. The Frankfurter daily interviewed Prof. Dietrich Murswiek, the legal representative of the most recent challenger, CSU Bundestag member Peter Gauweiler.
Last May 12, the Court rejected a temporary injunction to stop the aid package for Greece, but now, with the new law that has been passed, Murswiek says, a permanent mechanism has been set up which definitely violates the "no bailout" clause of the European Treaties. "This is a factual change of the European Treaties, implemented without the prescribed procedures."
If the German Constitutional Court stops the bailout package, it could free not only Germany but all European nations, from the dictatorial EU system. Fighting against financial speculation, both Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stood firm against U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who, according to EIR sources, flew to Europe on May 27 for the sole purpose of pressuring Germany into lifting the ban on naked short sales.
Instead, the German government is considering extending that ban, and more EU countries could join.