Wolfgang Münchau worries about OMT

The German court left no doubt that the Bundesbank and other German institutions were bound by the constitution. They also made clear they were not letting go of this case. The ruling gives the distinct impression that the judges are referring the case not up to a higher court but down to a lower court…

So what would happen if the ECB wanted to trigger the scheme? Following this ruling, I am not sure the Bundesbank could participate. That would be an inconvenience, no more. I would also expect, though with less certainty, that the German government would torpedo OMT through a technical lever. The scheme requires potential beneficiaries first to apply for a conditional credit line from the European Stability Mechanism. This is where the governments come in: they have to approve any ESM programme by unanimity.

What if the government and parliament voted in favour of a credit line? You could count on an immediate legal challenge at the constitutional court. This is the point when the ruling will matter. The court would then either eat its words or trigger a crisis. It will not refer another case to the ECJ.

The FT piece is here.  Developing…

Addendum: Here is commentary from Hans-Werner Sinn.


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