At the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports that the Merkel government no longer has the votes to bail out the improvident European regimes to the south and west:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe’s revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga. …
If the [constitutional] court rules that the €440bn rescue fund (EFSF) breaches Treaty law or undermines German fiscal sovereignty, it risks setting off an instant brushfire across monetary union.
The seething discontent in Germany over Europe’s debt crisis has spread to all the key institutions of the state. “Hysteria is sweeping Germany ” said Klaus Regling, the EFSF’s director.
Hysteria? It seems more like an outbreak of common sense.
German media reported that the latest tally of votes in the Bundestag shows that 23 members from Mrs Merkel’s own coalition plan to vote against the package, including twelve of the 44 members of Bavaria’s Social Christians (CSU). This may force the Chancellor to rely on opposition votes, risking a government collapse.
Christian Wulff, Germany’s president, stunned the country last week by accusing the European Central Bank of going “far beyond its mandate” with mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt, and warning that the Europe’s headlong rush towards fiscal union stikes at the “very core” of democracy. “Decisions have to be made in parliament in a liberal democracy. That is where legitimacy lies,” he said.
This, of course, goes to the heart of the issue. Europe’s elites have forced union, monetary and otherwise, on unwilling populations that have grown increasingly, and appropriately, surly. The European project as envisioned by the elites never has had democratic legitimacy, and a great many chickens are now coming home to roost.
Perhaps the votes will be cobbled together to go ahead with the planned bailout. But one way or another, monetary union appears to be doomed, sooner rather than later.