by Ray Fleming

Each of Wednesday's two important events in the European Union, discussed here earlier in the week, had positive outcomes for the Union as a whole and for the eurozone. The decision of Germany's powerful Constitutional Court that the country's participation in the European stability mechanism is legal means that Angela Merkel can now go ahead with obtaining parliamentary approval for Germany's key financial role in the eurozone's emergency bail-out resource. “A good day for Germany; a good day for Europe” was Merkel's reaction -- although personally, with a general election not far away, she will have noted the persistent, if narrow, majority opposition in German public opinion polls to this and other similar commitments.

Rather surprisingly the outcome of the second event, the general election in the Netherlands, proved more straightforward than most Dutch elections. Two like-minded parties, the VVD right-wing liberals led by the incumbent prime minister Mark Rutte and the resurgent social democrats with its new leader Diederik Samson, have the opportunity of jointly holding an overall majority in parliament, something of a rarity in coalition-minded Holland. Both parties are pro-EU and eurozone, albeit with certain reservations. Of greater importance, perhaps, was the rejection by voters of two parties which campaigned either to leave the EU or to limit co-operation which both lost support despite the difficult time that the EU is currently experiencing.