8 May 2010

Greek bailout approved by German parliament

5:35 pm on 8 May 2010

Germany's lower house of parliament has voted to approve a 22.4 billion euro bail-out plan for Greece, despite widespread public opposition.

The Bundestag passed the bill on Friday after a fiery debate in which Chancellor Angela Merkel was savaged by her critics.

The bill was passed by 390 votes to 72, with 139 abstentions. The upper house has also endorsed the bill and it will be signed into law by President Horst Koehler.

Mrs Merkel has defended the plan, saying the EU was at stake.

Members of the eurozone will lend Greece 80 billion euros spread over three years - the IMF will contribute 30 billion euros.

Other endorsements

On Thursday, Greek MPs approved drastic spending cuts, despite violent protests in Athens.

The BBC reports the measures include pay and pension cuts for public sector workers and tax rises. There is deep anger about the austerity measures in Greece, where pay rates are already low in comparison to other EU countries.

The French Senate has also approved France's contribution of up to 16.8 billion euros.

Italy's government also adopted a decree to supply 5.6 billion euros as part of its 14.8 billion contribution.