Merkel Ally Says Parliaments Should Approve Euro Rescue Efforts

Parliaments across the euro region should have more say in approving rescue measures related to the debt crisis, including the resolution of banks, a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said.

By copying Germany’s model, where all European rescue efforts that impact the budget need lawmaker approval, euro region governments and parliaments would bolster the legitimacy of their actions and increase support for Europe in their electorates, Norbert Barthle, the top budget lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said yesterday.

“For us, it will be a major task in the coming months to ensure in future negotiations at European level that the feedback of European policy decisions into national parliaments is strengthened,” Barthle said in an interview in Berlin. “We have already created the relevant legislation here in Germany. We would welcome it if similar procedures were also found for other national parliaments.”

The 28 European Union states have set a year-end deadline to reach a common position on a proposal for a Single Resolution Mechanism that would centralize the handling of euro-area banks in financial trouble. Merkel, at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels today, will present a proposal that includes national parliaments’ involvement, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported yesterday.

Merkel would support an SRM if claims on lenders were first met by shareholders and creditors; the euro region would bear joint responsibility only for 130 banks out of a total 6,000; and all national legislatures are required to agree to government assistance, the Sueddeutsche said, without saying where it got the information.

“As desirable as European banking supervision is: If all of a sudden there’s a decision at European level that bank X in country X has to be closed, without the involvement of the nation concerned, that’s when it becomes difficult,” Barthle said.

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