Germany's top court on Monday is to convene its
judges for urgent consultations on a new constitutional challenge by
a German lawmaker to the European Central Bank's (ECB) bond-buying
A spokeswoman for the Federal Constitutional Court said the judges would issue a statement Tuesday on "how it would proceed" with the objection lodged by Peter Gauweiler, who is a legislator in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.
The spokeswoman said the judges would meet in private Monday afternoon to consider the new case.
Gauweiler's move has raised concerns that the constitutional court might be forced to delay a separate ruling on key parts of the euro rescue plan, due to be handed down on Wednesday.
He is a member of Bavaria's conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), which is a junior party in Merkel's coalition.
Leading members of the CSU have been critical of Europe's plans to head off the long-running debt crisis, including moves to bailout debt-stricken eurozone members.
They include the CSU's general secretary, Alexander Dobrindt, who told the German daily Augsburger Allgemeine that he had "considerable sympathy" for the objection submitted by Gauweiler.
Announcing his challenge on Sunday, Gauweiler described the ECB's decision last week as "wrong and highly dangerous," saying the unlimited bond-buying programme would place Germany's budget at risk. He urged the court to delay Wednesday's verdict because of the ECB move.
The Karlsruhe-based court has been considering about 37,000 objections to the constitutional validity of Europe's fiscal compact on budget discipline and the creation of a new 700-billion-euro (895-billion-dollar) bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The ESM had been due to come into operation in July.
A decision by the court to uphold the objections would represent a major blow Europe's hopes for bringing the debt crisis to an end.
German critics believe both the powers for the ESM and the fiscal compact are contrary to the parliament's constitutional right to decide on budget questions and could leave the nation exposed to unlimited liabilities. Germany would be the major contributor to the ESM.
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