Germany is the biggest breaker of European Union (EU) rules, it has been revealed, as the bloc threatens sanctions against Britain after Brexit and on Hungary for refusing forced migrant quotas.
Angela Merkel’s government is currently facing 74 infringement proceedings for failing to promptly and adequately implement EU rules in German law, new figures from Germany’s Economics Ministry reveal.
“We’re no longer the model pupil – we’re bottom of the class,” Green Party politician Markus Tressel told Handelsblatt after his party requested the data from the ministry.
“The government performs badly in converting EU directives into national law, especially in the areas of traffic and environment,” Mr. Tressel added.
The latest available EU numbers, from the end of 2016, corroborate the Economics Ministry’s figures, showing Germany among the worst violators alongside Spain. Belgium, Portugal, Greece, and France are close behind.
The UK, meanwhile, is relatively good at implementing EU regulations fully and on time, ranked at number 14 on the list as it prepares to leave the bloc. Estonia, Malta, and Denmark were the most compliant.
The German government and finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble famously pushed to punish Greece during its economic crisis for breaking rules, which ended with an unelected technocratic government including EU bureaucrats effectively ruling the country.