Former German Constitutional Court President Says ECB Bond Purchases Are Anti-Constitutional
September 18, 2012 • 12:47PM

In a remarkable article published the FAZ Sunday edition, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Paul Kirchhof, former president of the German constitutional court, voices confidence that the court will rule against the ECB's planned new purchasing of sovereign bonds, as not covered by the Constitution of Germany. Furthermore, the ECB plan is typical of a situation characterized by financial markets largely decoupled from real value—money no longer reflects any real value, but is defined by speculation, Kirchhof writes. In the bailouts, the taxpayers' money and the savings accounts are taken hostage, without that hostage ever being freed again; therefore the property of the citizens, which stand under the guarantee of the Constitution, is being expropriated. Also the value of labor (!)—the primary source of citizens' property and of the state's tax income, is being devalued by the dominance of monetary values that are driven by speculation. The Court cannot accept that, it simply has to rule against, Kirchhof states.

Kirchhof's own alternative is kind of a balanced budget concept, although one that does not lend money for bailouts. But the concluding passage of his article, in which he calls for a return to the law and the replacement of the present state of pro-market lawlessness, is worth quoting:

"The debt crisis can be solved by law, which is passed by the parliament and thereby is justified by the state's people. The Basic Law [Grundgesetz, Germany's Constitution] addresses this linkage of people's sovereignty, law and law-based [European] integration mandate in its preamble: The German people have given themselves, by means of their constitutional power, the Basic Law, in order 'to serve the world peace, as an equal member of a unified Europe.'"