Merkel suffers blow: senior party member resigns over Greece

AFP –As negotiations between Greece’s creditors and Athens resume today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suffered a blow with Wolfgang Bosbach, one of the senior members of her own party, resigning from his position as Home Affairs Committee chairman in protest to Germany’s policy towards Greece.

Bosbach has been one of the most high profile critics of Merkel’s policy of giving Greece more financial aid, arguing that the risk of providing Athens with another bailout was putting German taxpayers at risk.

The 63-year-old former deputy leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was one of 60 coalition MPs, who last week defied Chancellor Merkel and voted against continuing negotiations for a €86 billion bailout package for Greece.

He said: “due to [the government’s policy towards Greece] I will be giving up my position as chair of the home affairs select committee of the German parliament on September 22nd. From then on I will only be active as a representative of my constituency.”

“I cannot and will not go along this path,” he added.

Earlier this month Bosbach backed proposals for Greece to take a temporary ‘Grexit’ from the Eurozone due to the ongoing nature of negotiations between Athens and the country’s creditors.

The former party deputy said he tried to stay loyal to leader Merkel but couldn’t justify supporting proposals for a third Greek bailout.

“I throw myself into every battle for Angela Merkel, but I can and will not vote against my convictions in the future.”

Bosbach’s resignation as the Bundestag’s Home Affairs committee chairman comes as another major blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been under increasing pressure from the German public and her own MPs over the manner in which Greek debt negotiations have been handled.