Prominent opponent of Merkel's euro bailouts quits leading post in German governing party

BERLIN – A prominent opponent of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s eurozone bailout policies has announced that he’s stepping down as deputy leader of one of Germany’s governing parties and giving up his parliamentary seat.

Peter Gauweiler, who has repeatedly filed complaints to Germany’s highest court against the bailout of Europe’s strugglers, said Tuesday that he made his decision after coming under pressure to vote in favour of a four-month extension to Greece’s bailout in February. He voted against.

The 65-year-old Gauweiler became a deputy leader of the conservative Christian Social Union in late 2013, a move that came as the party leadership sought to shore up support on the Euroskeptic right ahead of European Parliament elections.

The party is the Bavaria-only sister to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.