Fresh off of making some big concessions at the European Union summit in Brussels, Angela Merkel rushed back to Germany yesterday to ensure the EU fiscal pact and the permanent eurozone bailout fund were passed by parliament, reports Reuters. But with Germany's opposition parties agreeing to the "fiscal compact" in exchange for job-creation measures, the bills passed easily. "I only hope the growth initiatives have not come too late," said the chairman of the main opposition Social Democrats. "We are voting 'Yes' (to the fiscal pact) because Europe is more important than party political rivalries."
Legal hurdles remain, however, in getting the bailout scheme enacted; the legislation still has to pass the German Constitutional Court, which has expressed reservations about transferring power to Brussels. A decision could take as long as a few weeks. Several hundred Germans gathered outside parliament last night, protesting what they perceived as a loss of sovereignty. "As a German citizen, I feel as though I have been completely passed by," said one protester.