German Lawmakers Debate Greek Bailout, Merkel Faces Rebellion

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets colleagues as she arrives for a meeting of the parliamentarian group of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at the parliament in Berlin.


However, German media have reported that in a test vote late Tuesday, opposition was kept in check as 60 of 311 conservative lawmakers voted against or abstained.

European bailout fund supervisors approved the release of the first batch of loans on Wednesday evening, with 12 billion euros earmarked for repaying debts and the remainder for settling arrears to public sector suppliers.

The decision brings some respite after Greece teetered on the brink of bankruptcy during months of fraught bailout negotiations, which took their toll on the country’s embattled economy and strained relations in the 19-member currency bloc.

Merkel addressed the parliament during the last vote on Greece in July, saying it was worth seeking another rescue for Europe’s most-indebted nation after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted demands for austerity and asset sales.

The government has taken several steps to try to halt the financial crisis – including closing the stock exchange for more than a month, shutting banks for three weeks and instituting limits on the amount of money Greeks could withdraw.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday he had no qualms about urging fellow lawmakers to approve a new bailout for Greece in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday, citing a dramatic change in the Greek government’s readiness to reform.

By match, Tsipras versed the main rising but still among anti-bailout congress from his leftist Syriza party, shooting him to look at a confidence vote that may contribute to earlier elections if he ignores.

While the normally hardline Mr Schaeuble has publicly thrown his weight behind the deal, there remains deep unease in Germany over the third bailout.

But a majority is still expected to pass the Greek bailout, as the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens want it to go ahead.

Meanwhile, the debate in the Dutch parliament, which is set to vote on the issue later Wednesday, turned acrimonious, when populist right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders spoke out against “the European junkie called Greece”, Reuters reported.

The International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s biggest global creditors for its previous loans, has not yet signed up to the deal. “Whether it will be used, only the Greeks can decide”.

“If Greece stands by its obligations and the program is completely and resolutely implemented, then the Greek economy can grow again“, Schaeuble said.


In addition, many analysts said they believe the funds generated by Greece’s privatizations will fall short of what Athens has projected, resulting in Greece being forced to seek its fourth bailout, which would also have to be approved by German lawmakers.

Greece gets go-ahead for third multi-billion euro bailout