German parliament approves €22.4bn Greek aid bill

The German parliament voted to approve €22.4 billion in aid as part of a joint E.U.- International Monetary Fund rescue of debt stricken Greece.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition, with the support of the Green party, carried the vote, which passed 390 votes in favour, 72 against and 139 abstentions.

“We must defend our common European currency... and at the same time defend the whole European project,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the assembly before the vote.

The Bundestag vote comes after global markets tumbled overnight on fears over the euro’s stability and ahead of an E.U. summit later on Friday to sign off on the complete rescue package of €110 billion to 2012.

The bill is now due to be considered by the Bundesrat, or upper house of parliament representing the 16 federal States. Passage is virtually assured, however, as a majority of those States’ leaders have already said they will approve the bill.

President Horst Koehler would then sign the bill into law later Friday.

The largest opposition party, the Social Democrats, abstained from the Bundestag vote, after their attempts to have stricter regulations for financial markets bound into to Germany’s approval of the aid package were rejected by the government coalition.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 12:02:42 AM |

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