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Several German Lawmakers Criticize Euro Bailout Deal

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TEHRAN, March 14 (ICANA) – Several politicians from Germany's ruling coalition criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's government on Sunday for compromises it made in a deal to strengthen the euro zone bailout fund.
Monday, March 14, 2011 11:01:20 PM
Several German Lawmakers Criticize Euro Bailout Deal

Some threaten to vote against the deal, reached early on Saturday by leaders from countries that use the euro currency, when it is presented for approval in Germany's parliament.

While Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the deal an acceptable compromise, a lawmaker from his own Free Democrat (FDP) party said it overstepped limits set by Germany's parliament and risked not being approved.

 "The result contradicts the position of the FDP group in parliament; a majority in the Bundestag (lower house) is thus not secured," Frank Schaeffler told the website of business daily Handelsblatt.

The main bone of contention is changes agreed to let the bailout fund buy the bonds of distressed euro zone member states to make it more flexible and better able to stave off pressure in financial markets.

Some in Germany say this undermines the European Union's no-bailout clause and will fail legal examination by Germany's parliament before it votes on the final package, after the deal is agreed by European leaders on March 24.

"It is surely close to a transfer union," said Michael Meister, deputy parliamentary leader of the Christian Democrat (CDU) party. The term "transfer union" refers to German taxpayers supplying funds to bail out euro zone weaklings.

The harshest critique came from the Christian Social Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party to Merkel's CDU.

"The government has stepped over a red line that the parliamentary groups had clearly defined," Thomas Silberhorn, an EU expert from the CSU, told Reuters.

Allowing the fund to buy bonds was a "serious failure -- economically and in terms of European policy -- that presents a most precarious tightrope walk", he added.

Finance ministers from the 17-country euro zone will likely discuss details of the bailout fund at a regular meeting in Brussels on Monday.

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