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SPD refuses support for Greece package

AFP/DDP/The Local · 6 May 2010, 08:46

Published: 06 May 2010 08:46 GMT+02:00

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The Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary leader, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told a special party meeting Thursday morning that the party’s MPs would abstain from the vote on the package unless the government addressed its concerns about the €22.4 billion deal.

His remarks came as three people were reported killed during rioting on the streets of Athens.

Daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, meanwhile, citing modeling from the Bundestag’s own budget committee, reported the package could end up costing Germany more than the €22.4 billion currently forecast.

The developments followed the release of a poll Wednesday that showed support for Chancellor Angela Merkel has dipped sharply as voters expressed reservations over

her handling of the Greek crisis, just days before a key regional election.

Just less than half (48 percent) of German voters said they would directly elect her again as chancellor, a drop of six points from the previous week, the Forsa Institute poll for Stern magazine said.

Only 41 percent of people said they approved of her performance during the debt chaos in Greece, compared to 48 percent of people who assessed her crisis management as "not very good" or "not good at all."

Critics have accused Merkel of dragging her feet over Germany's slice of the €110-billion, three-year bail-out package for Greece.

In Germany, the electorate votes for parties, rather than individual candidates.

But support for Merkel's conservatives fell by two percentage points to 34 percent, while her coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, held firm on eight percent.

On the other hand, the centre-left SPD gained one point to 25 percent while the Greens rose two points to 16 percent.

Story continues below…

The far-left party, Die Linke, dropped one point to 10 percent in the poll of 2,501 people conducted between April 26 and 30.

"Unlike in the banking crisis a year and a half ago, the chancellor has not been a rock of stability, giving people confidence and direction in the crisis," Forsa chief Manfred Güllner said.

On Sunday, Merkel's coalition face an uphill struggle to hold on to their five-year-old alliance in a regional election in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Defeat for the coalition could spell the end of Merkel's majority in the upper house of parliament.

AFP/DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:51 May 6, 2010 by twisted
The Germans are going to pay, one way or another, in the end. If Greece fails, so goes the Euro because the German banks are holding so much Greek debt paper. At this point, no matter what Germany does, financially, the Germans will pay.
01:30 May 7, 2010 by baltog
In the late 80's I was leaving in Berlin (Tempel) with a group of English artists (Mondy pithons)..Every morning at Tempel I was awaking up hearing the marseilese melody and few minutes later the american anthem! AND NOW these tiny pure Germans of this time- libareted from their compexes plays the role (caricature) of europe's leaders!!! Politicaly immatures, with a infantile brain organisation and stucture, the germans, proofs how big mistake it was the EU's and US generocity to spend money for their unification!
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