The end of a bad comedy

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Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court also claims validity at European level.

(Photo: dpa)

The drama turns into a farce. At the beginning of May, the Federal Constitutional Court startled the world with a judgment that questioned the proportionality of the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB), criticized the government and the Bundestag, and threatened the Bundesbank with a ban on continuing to follow the instructions of the ECB. Exactly what the verdict was supposed to achieve remained unclear.

The economic ideas on which it was based were confused and obviously very influenced by the ideas of the plaintiffs, some of which were nationalistic. At the same time, the judge’s decision also damaged the independence of monetary policy, an almost sacred principle in Germany. The only thing that was clear was that the Karlsruhe court wanted to make it clear that, despite the European Union, it still had something to say at European level.

Now the tangle of problems vanishes into thin air. The ECB sends documents that contain nothing new. They are noted in Frankfurt and Berlin and sent on. In the end everyone is satisfied, and Karlsruhe can only take note of the empty process. The plaintiffs have achieved nothing except shooing central banks and politicians for a brief moment.

The AfD has already announced the next lawsuit against the ECB. Courts should consider how much they want to be involved in a comedy with nothing to laugh about. Making politics through the courts is popular in countries like Germany and the United States, which have a very respected constitution. But in a democracy it is often questionable and sometimes disgraceful.

In the best case, dealing with economic problems with legal means is of no avail, and in the worst case it causes mischief. Courts should focus on real legal issues wherever possible and not be misused for political purposes or confused by economic know-it-all. After all, law is a valuable asset.

More: Dangerous polarization of monetary policy threatens

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