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article imageGermany approves loan for Greece Special

By Riccardo Valsecchi     May 7, 2010 in Politics
Berlin - The German Parliament approved today the bailout funding of up to €22.4 billion ($28.3 billion) in emergency loans to Greece.
The bill was approved by 390 of the 601 votes cast; 139 voted against it and 72 abstained. The approval was expected as Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition holds a majority in the Bundesrat, which represents Germany's 16 states.
"We have to make a difficult decision today," said Finance Minister Wofgang Schäuble to the Bundestag. "A decision in a time that is cause for great concern to many people in Germany, in Europe, in Greece and beyond."
The euro and the euro-zone "have no alternative in the 21st century," Mr. Schäuble said. "That's why we must defend our common European currency as a whole."
"Die Grünen" party (Green Party) has given its support on the vote in the name of the European solidarity, but they criticized also the policy of the Schwarz-Gelb (Black-Yellow) coalition (CDU/CSU-FDP). Die Linke party (the Left Party) voted against the law, while the Social Democratic Party(SPD) abstained, except of the four Euro-parliamentarians, Eva Högl, Hans-Ulrich Klose, Michael Roth und Angelica Schwall-Düren, who voted "yes".
The BBC reports this bailout has been labelled the country's contribution as "the fattest cheque in history".
Germany's loans will be provided by state-owned KfW Banking Group with the government standing guarantee.
German President Horst Köhler must now sign the bill in order to make it effective.
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