German Lawmakers Back Greek Bailout Plan

July 17, 2015

The German parliament has approved the latest bailout for Greece, voting overwhelmingly for the 86 billion euro ($93.65 billion) package aimed at keeping Athens in the eurozone.

Ahead of the vote in the Bundestag, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned lawmakers of “predictable chaos” if they failed to OK the deal. The final vote was 439 in favor, 119 opposed and 40 abstentions.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble also called for supporting the plan, saying the EU must help Greece, but he warned that the agreement represents the final attempt to deal with the “difficult task” of that country’s perennial financial woes.

Although the plan easily passed, 50 members of Merkel’s own Christian Democrat party voted “nein.”

As NPR’s Christopher Dean Hopkins reported, eurozone leaders hammered out a deal deemed acceptable to Greece’s leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday.

And the Greek parliament has already approved it — the third for the country has been forced to seek a bailout since 2010 — despite the bitter pill of tough austerity measures that go along with it. Greece has agreed to raise taxes, cut spending and overhaul the country’s pension system.

Earlier this week, violent anti-austerity protests erupted in the Greek capital.

As the BBC reports, on Thursday, the European Central Bank raised the level of emergency funding to Greek banks, setting the stage for them to reopen for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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