German lawmakers voted in favour of a third Greek bailout on Wednesday despite a record rebellion among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own conservatives that suggested she would struggle to return to parliament to seek any further aid for Athens.
A significant minority of Merkel’s conservatives may vote against the 86 billion-euro ($94.84 billion) bailout, sending the government a warning that the latest package is its last chance to keep debt-ridden Greece in the 19-country euro zone.
And yet on Tuesday evening, the 311 CDU conservative bloc had a “test ballot” on the bailout, which confirmed over 60 “neigh” and abstention votes (56 + 4).
Schaeuble, Germany’s toughest negotiator on the Greek bailout, led calls for a “yes” vote in the parliamentary debate.
Early elections in Greece are “imperative” to maintain the country’s political stability as it begins to implement an unpopular third debt bailout, a government minister said Monday.
After eurozone finance ministers and the Greek parliament approved the measures last week, ratification by the Bundestag was one of the next steps to formalize the funds for Greece.
Schaeuble threw his weight behind the plan approved by eurozone finance ministers on Friday in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF, calling support for it “the right decision with everything taken into account”. Including the latest package, Greece’s bailout totals more than €300 billion.
Greece’s bailout is getting its final approvals in parliaments in several European states.
Eighteen abstained and attendance was markedly lower than during a vote last month approving the start of negotiations on the package. The main conservative opposition New Democracy party and the small socialist party PASOK have both ruled out supporting Tsipras after voting for the bailout to save the country from ruin.
On Tuesday, Austrian, Estonian and Spanish parliaments backed the bailout.
Other parties such as D66, have defended the Bailout deal, pointing at Germany as an example of trust in the Greek government.
“For instance, if when the IMF (International Monetary Fund) comes in with its own program… if Greece turns to the market… that will decrease the financing need”, Bredthardt told a press briefing.
Xydakis pinned the timing on the first review of progress under the new bailout, which Greece’s creditors will conduct in October. It raised Greece’s long-term rating to “CCC” from “CC”, saying the August 14 deal “reduced the risk of Greece defaulting on its private sector debt obligations” but added that risks to the programme’s success “remain high”.
The results of the vote are expected at around 1200 local time (0600 EDT).
Greece is due to pay €3.4 billion to the European Central Bank Thursday. Greece’s obligations will peak at 201 per cent of gross domestic product next year, before dropping to 160 percent in 2022 under a new rescue program, according to their projections in a document obtained by Bloomberg.