Germany: Growing support for referendum on Europe
25 June 2012
Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Anyone who listened to the constitutional court ruling will know that there is no other solution.” The remark made by the social-democratic former finance minister, Peer Steinrück, highlights an opinion that is increasingly prevalent among Germany’s politicians: a change to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic, ratified by referendum, may well be necessary for the further development of Berlin’s European plans.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, the country’s current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble advocated the appointment of a European finance minister with the power to veto national budgets, and the creation of a union of major banks under the control of a single European regulator.
The transfer of sovereignty implied by these measures will necessitate the reform of the German constitution. However, Schäuble believes that a referendum, which can only be launched if it has the support of two thirds of the Berlin parliament, could be organised “faster than expected“.
For Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schäuble has “a rose-tinted view” of the situation. The daily criticises the minister for “pretending that he can impose the same standard of living across Europe. Why has his ministry never calculated the cost to the German taxpayer of a morally bankrupt bailout?”