Future German presidency to revive EU constitutionAs some of us expected, the dreaded EU Constitution just won't die. Is it time to get rid of the entire EU, not just the Constitution?
Future German presidency to revive EU constitution
The new German government plans to use its 2007 presidency of the EU to revive the ratification of the EU constitution, according to a coalition deal struck on Friday (11 November). The coalition agreement, signed by the German christian democrat CDU and the social democrat SPD parties, should pave the way for a fresh "grand coalition" government led by CDU leader Angela Merkel to take office later this month. The coalition deal revives plans for a ratification of the EU constitution, which was put on ice by EU leaders in June following a rejection of the new treaty by French and Dutch voters. "We stand for the European constitutional treaty," the text reads, reiterating that the constitution makes the union more democratic, efficient and transparent. For now, the CDU-SPD government will support the continuing ratification of the treaty by member states, and will strengthen the process more directly when it takes over the helm of the EU in January 2007, the parties proclaimed.
A Not-So-Grand Coalition?
Germany's new government hasn't even been installed and yet already there is scathing criticism over the plans of the so-called "grand coalition" of Christian and Social Democrats. The verdict? Too many tax hikes and too little reform. The designated chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) said that the alliance between his party and Germany's conservatives -- the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the CSU -- isn't a true political romance. "This is a sober marriage of convenience," he told an assembled horde of reporters at a press conference on Saturday, as he sat next to future chancellor and CDU leader Angela Merkel. Increasing government revenues won't be enough to plug Germany's gaping budget deficit -- estimated to hit €41 billion next year -- so the coalition is also planning to cut spending too.