German MPs approve Greek bailout extension

The Bundestag voted overwhelmingly in favour of the four-month extension of the Greek bailout. Of 587 votes cast,

542 – yes

32 – no

13 – abstentions

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has called on the Bundestag to support Greece’s four-month bailout extension.

Schäuble told MPs that Greece is not getting more money today:

We’re not talking about new billions for Greece, we’re not talking about any changes to this programme – rather it’s about providing or granting extra time to successfully end this programme.

He admitted it wasn’t “an easy decision for any parliament member,” adding “Greece has to do its bit. Solidarity has something to do with reliability”.

Schäuble won the most applause when he insisted that Germany must do everything it can to hold Europe together.

Other politicians from across the spectrum have emphasised the importance of avoiding new divisions in Europe. Although there was disagreement about how Greece’s plight came about.

Ralph Brinkhaus of the ruling CDU/CSU party insisted that the problems predated Greece’s first aid package, and that other eurozone bailouts had been successful.

Gregor Gysi of Die Linke party said Greece “kamikaze policy” of austerity must be changed.

The Guardian