Bloomberg News

Two German Lawmakers Sue Against Closed-Door EFSF Committee

October 27, 2011

(Updates with court statement starting in second paragraph.)

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Two German lawmakers filed a lawsuit challenging the right of a parliamentary subcommittee to make decisions on the use of European bailout funds on behalf of the plenary, or Bundestag.

Swen Schulz and Peter Danckert, from the opposition Social Democratic Party, submitted the suit to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe today, Schulz said in an interview. Judith Blohm, the court’s spokeswoman, confirmed the filing.

“Never before in parliamentary history have decisions of such magnitude been transferred to such a small committee,” he said. “That’s a clear violation of my rights as a member of parliament.”

The nine-member, all-party subcommittee was set up to comply with a Sept. 7 constitutional court ruling that upheld the Bundestag’s authority over budgetary aspects of the European Financial Stability Facility. The court said at the time the 41- member budget committee must have a say in Germany’s decisions on the fund’s action. The new rule now grants the closed-door subcommittee powers to make decisions in emergency or classified situations.

The plaintiffs have asked for an interim ruling to block the committee, which is scheduled to meet for the first time tomorrow, from starting to work while the case is pending. The judges hearing the case have already started deliberating on the emergency bid, Blohm said.

The group hasn’t got a formal plan to discuss this week Euro rescue summit’s conclusions or to take a vote at tomorrow’s meeting, according to Priska Hinz, a Green Party member of the panel.

The Bundestag, in a second vote yesterday, approved allowing the 440 billion-euro ($618 billion) rescue fund to be leveraged without increasing the German share.

--With assistance from Brian Parkin, Patrick Donahue, Alan Crawford and Leon Mangasarian in Berlin. Editors: Angela Cullen, Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net


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