Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Merkel's fiscal compact evokes article 23 of the German constitution: a) An own goal by Merkel or b) A clever plot?

I was very surprised when a fellow tweeter, from Germany, told me on Sunday of Merkel's (sudden?) need for a 2/3 majority in both German houses (Bundestag and Bundesrat) for adoption, by Germany. of the fiscal compact that she conceived and heaavily promoted in the firstplace!

Here is a press report (Reuters) that well describes the issue and Merkel's sudden predicament!

Theory 1:

At first reading it seems like a major own goal for Merkel and her team. How could they have missed that when drafting the compact (btw, who has actually drafted and finalised the text of the fiscal compact, German or EU experts/officials)?

One that could lead to her political demise, even, since she is bound to get more support from the opposition than the CDU (as happened with the Greek bail-out).

But now it is certain that to adopt her fiscal compact in both houses, the SPD and the Greens will get a growth counter-balance in return (which is good, for many, including yours truly)/

Theory 2

Now, this is an alternative theory. One that is more consistent with the German tradition in quality design in anything from cars to policy! A but sneaky, but hear it out!

Having to get the votes of the opposition could actually be in Merkel's benefit.

a) If the SPD and Greens turn her fiscal compact down, she can blame them, to the German public opinion.for its demise and possibly get major points for 2013! Never too early!

b) If the SPD and Greens vote the fiscal compact, then, unlike Francois Hollande in France, will not have legit cause to recall it later. Thus Merkel politically "chains" a future SPD or Greens containing German government  to her fical compact, in return for growth measures that she would probably want to enact anyway!

Choose whichever scenario suits your POV!

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BRs
Nick

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