Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph:
German president tells Angela Merkel to come clean on EU debt deal
Joachim Gauck, the German president, has ordered Chancellor Angela Merkel to clarify exactly what she agreed behind closed doors at the EU crisis summit ten days ago.
German president Joachim Gauck has ordered Chancellor Angela Merkel to clarify exactly what she agreed behind closed doors at the EU crisis summit ten days ago, lending a powerful voice to critics dismayed by the surging costs of euro bail-outs.
"She has a duty to explain in great detail what it means, and what it means fiscally. There seems to be a lack of energy in telling the people what is really happening," he told ZDF television.
President Gauck's broadside came as markets wait anxiously for a crucial hearing this Tuesday by Germany's constitutional court on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the EU's €500bn (£397bn) bail-out fund. A clear ruling against the ESM would throw into doubt Germany's ability to backstop the euro and risk a dramatic escalation of the debt crisis.
Legal challenges to the ESM have been filed by a range of private citizens and lawmakers, mostly arguing that the fund violates the Bundestag's sovereign control over budgets, and eviscerates democracy. Mr Gauck will not sign the ESM into law until the court has ruled, probably later this month.
There is deep confusion over the summit deal after Mrs Merkel claimed that it "changed nothing" and that the small print made in it clear that there would be "no further liabilities"...MORE