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Germans set to confirm Greek aid Thursday

Published: 27 Nov 2012 13:25 GMT+01:00

The "current rough plan" is that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will give a speech in the Bundestag lower house on Thursday, followed by a vote, said Michael Grosse-Brömer, chief whip of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).

After marathon talks overnight, finance ministers from the 17 eurozone countries agreed to release €43.7 billion in emergency aid for Greece and hinted that more of its debt may have to be forgiven.

The parliamentary head of Germany's main opposition party, the centre-left Social Democrats, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his group would back the deal, meaning Berlin is virtually certain to rubber stamp the agreement.

"I will not recommend to my group any action that would lead to Greece being insolvent in the short-term and in that case being forced to leave the eurozone," Steinmeier told ZDF public television.

However, he urged the ruling coalition to come clean over the issue of a so-called haircut – governments and the European Central Bank accepting a loss on their Greek debt holdings.

With less than a year to go until elections, Merkel has been vehemently opposed to such a haircut, which would mean German taxpayers footing part of the bill.

Some eurozone states however have said they would "not exclude" the possibility of writing off some debt from 2015 onwards.

"The haircut has not been avoided, it has merely been postponed until after the federal election ... it will come after 2014," Steinmeier said.

Norbert Barthle, budgetary spokesman for the CDU, told German radio: "It could be the case, according to the current planning, that a haircut could occur in 2020."

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:52 November 27, 2012 by Steve1949
It's amazing that no one sees that this is not working. How does one get out of debt by going further in debt? We aren't talking about a million Euro's here. In the end I can see the EU eating this debt since Greece will never be able to repay it no matter how far down the road they shove this mess. It's time to put an end to this single currency crap.
14:21 November 27, 2012 by rmarquina
You have to be more intelligent when choosing your head pictures...
17:14 November 27, 2012 by Steve1949
They are already talking about forgiving more Greek debt in 2014. Why not just forgive all of the Greek debt in 2012 and let them fend for themselves. Why keep pouring more money into that country?
13:27 November 28, 2012 by Zubair Khan
Current ruling elite is turnign blind eye to all the professional advises on the subject and blaming economic experts not coming up with concrete solutions. Forgiveness or extention of unlimited debts is not the solution of the problem. But non can help as Ms Merkel is all up for saving the single currency. In the end if whole Europe sinks she is not pushed.
15:05 December 1, 2012 by TrullyAmazed
The picture in your article shows very poor judgement. There are better ways to express your views. Your picture is insulting, vitriolic and has no place on the website of a civilized newspaper.
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