German Parliament approves plan for new Greek bailout

AP , Friday 17 Jul 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, and German Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, right, cast their votes during a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Friday, July 17, 2015. (Photo: AP)

German lawmakers have given their overwhelming approval to opening detailed negotiations with Greece on a new bailout package.

Lawmakers voted 439-119 Friday in favor of the commencement of discussions. There were 40 abstentions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel needed Parliament's approval to launch talks thrashing out details of the package.

On Monday, Merkel and other eurozone leaders struck a preliminary deal for a three-year bailout of Greece that's expected to be worth 85 billion euros ($93 billion).

Germany has been the largest single contributor to Greece's bailouts. It has taken a hard line, insisting on stringent spending cuts and tax hikes in return.

Merkel acknowledged concerns over the chances of a successful bailout but said the alternative would be chaos in Greece.

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