German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said he is confident the German Constitutional Court will approve the European Stability Mechanism and the Fiscal Compact Treaty.

The court is due to rule on a number of challenges taken against the ESM and the treaty next week.

The German Parliament has approved both measures, but they have not been signed into law by the president pending the outcome of the court challenge.

A rejection of the ESM - which is largely German funded - would leave the eurozone without a permanent bailout fund, and throw current plans to stabilise the single currency into chaos.

Ireland approved the Fiscal Treaty in a referendum last may.

The ESM Treaty was challenged by Independent TD Thomas Pringle. The Supreme Court refused to grant him an injunction restraining the Government from ratifying the treaty, pending a ruling on a number of points which the court has referred to the European Court of Justice.