Serious internal opposition exists. The group Mehr Demokratie (More Democracy) sued the High Court to halt ratification. It claims approval entails "unlimited and irreversible liability risks." It wants a referendum held to let Germans decide how their money will be spent.
Christian Social Union member Peter Gauweiler called accepting new liabilities irresponsible. Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats are skeptical. Wolfgang Bosbach has mixed feelings, he said.
Despite some advantages, he's greatly concerned about increasing potential liability beyond what's safe and sensible.
In June, Germany's Bundestag approved ESM. President Joachim Gauck is free to sign it. His signature is required.
ESM and EFSF will operate in parallel until mid-2013. At that time, ESM will be on its own. Germany must provide 27% of its funds. Critics warn amounts will end up much more than anticipated.
ESM will have 700 billion euros in capital. Only 500 billion maximum can be loaned. Troubled Spain and Italy need multiples that amount. Enough resources aren't available to provide it.
A push come to shove moment awaits. It's just a matter of time. It may arrive sooner than expected. Economic conditions are dire and worsening.
Brussels-based Bruegel think tank deputy director Guntram Wolff believes ESM will only provide short-term relief. He doesn't think it's enough. How can it be with member state resources inadequate to fund it.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski said today's ruling fell short. It doesn't resolve crisis conditions. It's more feel good than real good. What's next remains a big unknown. Clarity may arrive with a bang or thud.
Once again, time alone was bought, little else. Nothing fundamental changed. Perhaps fed up tax payers suffering austerity pain will have final say. If not them, expect economic reality to rain on today's parade. Severe problems remain unresolved.
On September 10, Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Ramsden called banking slowdown structural, not temporary. "The operating environment is unlikely to change any time soon," he said.
Morgan Stanley calls the global economy a "twilight zone" of uncertainty. Graham Summers has been spot on in past analyses. He calls so-called "unlimited" ECB bond buying "Super Mario's big bluff."
Market euphoria is based on his scheme and hope that ESM can work. Mario's plan replicates what he tried before that failed. Repackaging failure under a new name won't turn out better than before. It's old wine in new bottles gone rancid.
Conditionality is involved. Bailout help requires austerity. Imposing it negates "unlimited." Mario's plan is more bluster than bite. Spain and Italy reject it. Greece also balked. They want unconditional aid.
It's not automatic. Troubled nations must apply for it. EFSF funds will be used. With around 65 billion euros left, they're severely depleted. Spain and Italy are required to supply 30% of its resources.
How can they in effect bail themselves out? Draghi has good reason for concern. He's not sure what to do that works.