Germany approves increase of eurozone bailout fund

Strong majority supports the motion, reaffirms Merkel’s leadership

A strong majority of German legislators approved a hotly debated measure to increase their contribution to the eurozone bailout fund on Thursday. The vote was widely seen as a key test of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership and the unity of her centre-right coalition. Merkel loyalists reportedly lobbied fellow legislators deep into the night Wednesday, as some members of the coalition had publicly expressed their opposition to the motion. In passing the legislature, Germany will now commit 211 billion euros to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), up from 121 billion euros so far. Of the 611 legislators on hand for the vote, 523 were in favour, 85 were against and three abstained. The vote marked the official approval of a July decision by eurozone countries to beef up the EFSF to 440 billion euros, signaling that more money will be needed to prevent a Greek sovereign debt default and the spread of the crises to larger European economies like Italy and Spain. All 17 eurozone members must approve the initiative in their own legislatures. On Wednesday, Finland voted in favour of the measure as well.

CBC News





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