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German ESM Ruling Unlikely to Be Delayed, Court Spokeswoman Says

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Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- A ruling by Germany’s highest court on the euro-area’s permanent financial backstop probably won’t be delayed by a complaint from plaintiffs led by German Professor Markus Kerber, a court spokeswoman said.

Kerber’s group said yesterday it filed a complaint asking the Federal Constitutional Court to await a European Court of Justice ruling on the planned rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, before issuing its own opinion. The complaint has been received by the German court, deputy spokeswoman Friederike Lange said by phone today.

“As far as we can tell from the documents, we don’t see any delay for the Sept. 12 date” on which the ruling is due to be made, Lange said. “As of now, I don’t see it being necessary to wait for the European Court of Justice’s ruling.”

Markets are awaiting the establishment of the 500 billion-euro ($617 billion) ESM, which is on hold pending a decision by the German court. Kerber, who proposes the introduction of a so-called guldenmark in euro countries running current-account surpluses, according to his group’s website, says that Germany’s public finances could be crushed by debt as high as 3.7 trillion euros as a result of commitments toward troubled euro countries.

Irish lawmaker Thomas Pringle, who challenged legislation on the permanent backstop, was referred to the European court after Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled that it can’t block the government from ratifying domestic legislation on the ESM.

Germany’s top court is unlikely to allow proceedings at the European court to sway it from the deadline it has set itself next month, Handelsblatt newspaper cited constitutional law expert Joachim Wieland from the School of Administrative Science in the town of Speyer as saying in today’s edition.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net; Janhenrik Forster in Frankfurt at jforster14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net