Germany Backs EUR 750 B Eurozone Rescue Deal

World | May 21, 2010, Friday // 14:36|  views

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C), World Bank President Robert Zoellick (L) and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), leave a press conference in the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 28 April 2010. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Germany's lower house of parliament has approved the country's contribution to a EUR 750 B rescue deal for the eurozone.

The upper house is also expected to back a German contribution of up to EUR 148 B.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced widespread domestic opposition to her support for measures to help Greece and other struggling EU economies.

But she has warned that the euro would be "in danger" without strong action.

The Bundestag, or German lower house, voted by 319 votes to 73 in favour of Germany's participation in the bail-out, with 195 abstentions.

Two opposition parties abstained and one voted against, the BBC reported.

Without cross-party support the German leader will struggle to secure public backing for bailing out Germany's neighbours, he says.

Bail-out plans for Greece are thought to have contributed to a defeat for her centre-right coalition in a key state election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

The vote on the package, which is designed to shore up the finances of struggling eurozone countries, comes as an EU task force of finance ministers is to meet in Brussels later to discuss ways to prevent a repeat of the economic crisis in Greece.

The ministers are expected to propose changes to EU budget rules to tighten up financial regulation.

European markets fell after opening on Friday amid fears that the region's debt crisis could spread.

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Tags: Angela Merkel, Eurozone, Germany, Greece debt crisis


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