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German court clears path for EU COVID-19 recovery fund

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:03, April 22, 2021

BERLIN, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Germany's Federal Constitutional Court rejected on Wednesday an urgent appeal against the European Union's (EU) comprehensive COVID-19 recovery fund, clearing an immediate legal obstacle for the country to take part in its launch.

The complaint was "neither inadmissible from the outset nor clearly unfounded," Germany's highest court noted in a statement. However, it "does not appear highly likely" that the court will find a violation of the country's basic law through the joint EU fund.

Last year, EU leaders agreed on a recovery fund worth 750 billion euros (902 billion U.S. dollars) to address the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat, respectively the lower and upper houses of Parliament, in March.

As a result of the complaint filed by a citizens' initiative around a founding member of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the court initially ordered that the corresponding law could not be signed off by the country's federal president.

The actual constitutional complaint has not yet been decided and will be settled in principal proceedings. The European Commission cannot start borrowing and disbursing the COVID-19 fund until all member states have fully ratified the decision.

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