merkel likely to rally lawmakers behind greek deal
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
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Arab Today, arab today

Merkel likely to rally lawmakers behind Greek deal

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Merkel likely to rally lawmakers behind Greek deal

Berlin - AFP

Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to rally German lawmakers behind a Greek rescue deal in a vote Monday but faces opposition within her coalition against Germany stumping up any more aid. For the seventh time in less than two years, the 620 MPs in the German Bundestag lower house of parliament are due to meet in a special session from 1400 GMT to give the greenlight to Europe\'s latest plan to fight the crisis. The package, hammered out by eurozone finance ministers to give Greece a further 130 billion euros to help avert a March debt default, looks set to pass with a big majority as the two main opposition parties say they will support it. Despite some criticism that the deal falls short on ensuring Greek economic growth, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens plan to back the plan as they did in two previous eurozone bailout votes. However, attention is already firmly focused on the next, trickier stage in fighting Europe\'s debt crisis. Germany, Europe\'s biggest economy and its effective paymaster, is under pressure from its partners to agree to bolster the 500-billion-euro firewall to prevent contagion of the crisis. But lawmakers from within Merkel\'s own centre-right coalition, which has a majority in parliament, will jump on Monday\'s vote to hammer home their opposition to any ramping up of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). They plan to present a motion on the issue Monday. \"The signs coming from Italy and Spain show that the situation is stabilising. There is no reason to increase the volume\" of the bailout mechanisms, Joachim Spatz, spokesman on European issues for the junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), told AFP. European leaders are due to ratify the latest aid deal for Greece, among other things, at a Brussels summit Thursday and Friday. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said he is \"totally confident\" the country\'s parliament would approve the Greek bailout deal without the governing coalition having to rely on opposition support. Nevertheless the number of rebels from within Merkel\'s coalition who vote against the Greek deal is likely to be closely scrutinised -- 15 defied her in a September vote, some of whom say they will again stick to their guns in Monday\'s vote. But the failure of an internal FDP referendum in December on opposing the eurozone\'s permament bailout fund has since removed some of the wind from the dissidents\' sails. Many lawmakers may back the Greek deal Monday for lack of a better alternative, Spatz said. \"It\'s the least bad solution,\" he said. Schaeuble acknowledged in a letter to deputies Friday that it would possibly not be the last time that the Bundestag would have to vote on helping out Greece. \"There are no guarantees that the chosen path leads to success,\" he wrote. \"But the prospects for success of the alternatives seem clearly lower to me at the current time,\" he added. A decision by the constitutional court last year has forced the government to involve lawmakers more closely in decisions on European rescue funds which affect billions of euros of public money. \"I have the impression that some are losing patience, also among the people\" over bailing out Greece, Manuel Sarrazin, the spokesman on Europe for the Green party\'s parliamentary grouping, told AFP.  

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