German Bundestag Approves Greek Bailout AgreementEU | July 17, 2015, Friday // 15:32| views
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (back C) delivers a speech during a special session of the German Bundestag over the proposed bailout package for Greece, in Berlin, Germany, 17 July 2015. Photo: EPA
The German Bundestag approved on Friday the terms of the third bailout agreement, which Greece and the leaders of the eurozone had negotiated on Monday.
Germany's lower house of parliament approved the reopening of financial negotiations with Greece with 439 MPs voting in favour, 119 voting against, while 40 abstained, Deutsche Welle reports.
The voting was preceded by a tense debate and a split with the main ruling party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Prior to the vote, nearly 50 MPs from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) demonstrated intentions to vote against the proposed bailout of up to EUR 86 B.
Although German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed an opinion on Thursday that a temporary Grexit was the better option, he called on MPs to vote in favour of the bailout on Friday.
Merkel herself called for European solidarity with Greece and the Greek people by voting in favour of the bailout so that Germany could help its fellow EU country to “come out stronger than it went in”.
Schaeuble defended the bailouts as “a last try to perform an incredibly difficult task” and said that debt relief was impossible under EU law.
The parliaments in several member states of the EU have to approve the terms of the bailout agreement before Greece is granted any financial help.
Greece will have to implement economic reforms, which foresee new austerity measures, before it is granted any new financial aid.