• Germany edition
 
Parliament approves €43.7 billion for Greece
Photo: DPA

Parliament approves €43.7 billion for Greece

Published: 30 Nov 2012 12:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Nov 2012 14:12 GMT+01:00

MPs voted by 473 to 100 to give the green light to the release of €43.7 billion in aid to debt-wracked Greece agreed after torturous talks between eurozone finance ministers. There were 11 abstentions.

The result of the vote was secured in advance after the two main opposition parties vowed to support Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling centre-right coalition, with less than a year until elections.

But a breakdown of the vote showed that Merkel did not have to rely on the opposition to win. From her own coalition ranks, 297 deputies voted in favour, enough to carry a majority from the 584 votes cast.

Before the vote Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had pointed to the significant efforts made by the Greek government to implement reforms demanded in return for the aid and warned of the consequences of letting Athens fall.

"Without our support, it would not only be the future of Greece at stake, but also the future of the eurozone as a whole," Schäuble said.

"The potential impact of a Greek default on other eurozone countries and the eurozone would be serious. The consequences are not foreseeable. We cannot start a process that could end in the break-up of the entire eurozone."

Although the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) voted largely in favour, political debate has raged over whether German taxpayers will eventually have to accept losses on Berlin's holdings of Greek debt.

Many in Germany consider that a so-called haircut - or write-down of Greek debt holdings - by public institutions like other eurozone governments and the European Central Bank is inevitable.

And opposition politicians have accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of playing down the need for a haircut on Greece, fearful of the impact on her chances in the federal election expected to take place on September 22.

Schäuble said that speculation about such a haircut sent "exactly the wrong incentive" to Greece, arguing that it reduced the pressure on the government in Athens to enact structural economic reforms.

But the SPD's parliamentary head of the SPD, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, accused members of the governing coalition of being inconsistent and making comments in an "irresponsible way" about Greece's future in the eurozone.

"Wait and see how things develop - that may sometimes have been good for peace in the coalition, but for our image in Europe, for Germany's image in Europe, it was not," he fumed.

A haircut for Greece further down the line was inevitable, Steinmeier argued, telling Merkel: "All you have bought is time."

Merkel's challenger next year, former finance minister Peer Steinbrück said ahead of the vote that his Social Democrats would vote in favour "not to support the government but out of political responsibility for Europe."

Der Spiegel magazine pointed to the difficulties faced by the SPD as it battles to define itself and its policies ahead of the federal election.

"With less than a year to go before general elections, the centre-left opposition party finds itself struggling to distance itself from Chancellor Angela Merkel on the election season's most important issue: the euro crisis," it wrote in its online edition.

"And that failure could weigh heavily on its chances" in September, it suggested.

Following a series of landmark decisions by the country's top court, Germany's parliament must vote on any new rescue packages in the eurozone or major changes to existing packages.

Finland and the Netherlands are the only two other eurozone countries where parliamentary consent is needed to unfreeze funds for Greece.

Also included in the package is a debt buy-back scheme, in which Greece is loaned money to repurchase its debt at lower prices on the market.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:35 November 30, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
I wonder what these politicians would say, if it was their own money which is being given away. The old, sick and out of work, are all told that Germany is unable to pay them reasonable benifits, because there is no cash in the Kitty.

For banks and incapable governments it would seem there is always more than enough.
18:05 November 30, 2012 by jmclewis
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a new result.
18:09 November 30, 2012 by IchBinKönig
'Although the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) voted largely in favour, political debate has raged over whether German taxpayers will eventually have to accept losses on Berlin's holdings of Greek debt.'

It is clear by the fact that the Money now sent to Greece is referred to as 'Aid', that Germany will not be paid back. The Union has gone from a Creditor / Debtor relationship to a Donor / Recipient relationship.

Jin Liqun, Chairman of Peoples Bank of China said so himself. This man controls China's Sovereign wealth, and does not trust that any investment in Europe will be paid back. Hence, China will not 'Invest' in Europe.

Anybody that debates on the side that says Germany will be paid back its loans in any meaningful matter, is either a fool or liar.

One of the most enlightening interviews on the topic of why China, or anybody for that matter, refuses to 'Invest' in Europe is laid bare faced. here is the Interview. No Spin, No BS. This is what you are actually facing in Germany. Germans, you are being robbed. But let the debates rage, just remember, it might be the Thief who tells you his hand is not in your pocket.

http://bcove.me/xj60be7t
18:24 November 30, 2012 by truth is treason
In the above photo Is Angie telling the people behind "There is 50 Billion Euro limit on Dave Camerons' Credit card, so if we give Greece 43.7 Billion euros there should be enough to buy the next round of drinks" I read somewhere that the Governments and ECB take a hair cut but Goldman Sachs et All have written their contracts where they get paid in full. To find out how Greece got in such a big mess search this sentence and read this Article: The Secret Goldman Sachs-Greece Deal That's Described As 'A Very Sexy Story Between Two Sinners'
20:03 November 30, 2012 by Englishted
"Without our support, it would not only be the future of Greece at stake, but also the future of the eurozone as a whole," Schäuble said.

He has changed his tune again last time I heard it didn't matter if they stayed or went the mighty €uro was indestructible. Hypocrisy knows no limit in this on going saga.
20:40 November 30, 2012 by michael valerio
I though the German tax payer had more sense.
05:18 December 1, 2012 by Steve1949
The reality is that the EU and Euro are a joke. They give these multi-billion Euro donations out like they were giving some beggar on the street 50 cents. All these politicians have lost touch with reality. They already know they will never see this money again and still there is very little hesitation to giving more away. Maybe we all should stop paying on our outstanding debts. If the government can continue to throw money away like this they should have enough to cover our debts as well.
12:30 December 1, 2012 by gorongoza
There are things which German tax payers get pissed off with - not paying sums after sums of money in an endless pit.

I have finally come to think that it gives them a sense of "the rich man of Europa" - a badge they proudly value.
12:43 December 1, 2012 by Repatriated
The Germans penny pinch when it comes to their own people's welfare, but are more than willing to throw money at everyone else just to give the appearance that we really care. So what happens when Spain, Portugal, Irland, Italy and a few other countries thereafter come to Germany with cup in hand and ask (read demand) the same treatment that Greece received. Where in the hell is all this money going to come from to bail out the rest of Europe's sqandering economies...print more money like they do in the USA?

The idea of uniting countries having incompatible cultures, language and work ethics into the Euro, or as a matter of fact into a United Europe is nothing more than an ill conceived socialistic and idealistic idea that is a recipe for failure in the long run.
14:11 December 1, 2012 by raandy
In the end after more bailouts it will be easy to see that a debt reduction would be the better move, Your first loss is usually the smallest loss.

There is no way the economy can move forward under these draconian austerity measures.The debt to GDP ratio is still expanding , the bail outs do little to reduce that or stop it from increasing.

If you consider the EU unemployment is around 11.7% and has slipped back into recession the bail out solves nothing except extending the inevitable.
04:50 December 14, 2012 by US-TommyBoy
The PIIGS are leading the Germans to economic slaughter.

But then here in the US....the Fed is leading us to slaughter.

Do not worry about inflation, be very worried about stagflation and a depression.
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,430
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd