Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
German right won't snub Merkel in Greek vote, ally says

Angela Merkel will not need votes from opponents on the left to get a bailout for Greece through the German parliament, a senior ally said on Thursday, despite a growing revolt within the chancellor's conservative coalition.

Less than a year before a general election in which she will seek a third term, Friday's vote on measures agreed by euro zone finance ministers this week to cut Greek debt is widely seen as a test of Merkel's authority over her own supporters.

Since most opposition Social Democrats and Greens will back the credits, there is no doubt the Bundestag lower house will approve the package; but Merkel would like to contain rebellion in her own ranks, so that she does not need her opponents' help.

Volker Kauder, parliamentary floor leader for Merkel's CDU-CSU group, said on Thursday that he was confident the chancellor would achieve that, and added that a big, bipartisan majority in the chamber would also be a positive sign for Europe.

"We will have our own majority," Kauder told ZDF television, "The opposition will cooperate and that is a good signal for Europe and for Greece."

It is unclear exactly how many may vote against or abstain from among Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian CSU allies and coalition partners the Free Democrats (FDP).

Government supporters have 330 out of 620 voting seats. Merkel has failed before to secure the 311 votes from her own camp that represent an absolute "chancellor's majority". She may again fall short, but will hope to limit the rebellion to a level where, even were all her opponents on the left to vote against it, the government's bill would still pass.

With lawmakers conscious of their own re-election battles, politicians have joined some media commentators in becoming more vocal about the cost of Greek aid to German taxpayers. Many say Greece will eventually fail to repay some of the new credits.

In a test vote late on Wednesday, 15 of the 237 lawmakers in Merkel's own conservative bloc voted against the aid package and one abstained - though only about two thirds of lawmakers attended the meeting, participants said.

The Free Democrats expect about 10 of their 93 lawmakers to vote against or abstain, said a parliamentary source.

That means Merkel is heading for a bigger rebellion than in a Bundestag vote in July on a rescue package for Spanish banks, which saw 22 rebels from her centre-right coalition.

The Social Democrats (SPD) confirmed on Thursday that they would back the aid package. In their own test vote, eight of the 146 SPD lawmakers voted against and 13 abstained. The Greens, who have 68 lawmakers, will support the Greek package.

The Left Party, which has 76 seats, has said it will oppose.

Friday's vote is on a range of measures aimed at cutting Greek debt to 124 percent of gross domestic product by 2020. For the first time, Merkel's government has acknowledged there will be a negative impact on the federal budget due to lost revenues.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insists in public that a writedown of debt by Greece's public creditors would be illegal. But fears are growing, even among Merkel's own party ranks, that it may be unavoidable in the longer term.

Kauder reiterated that such a move, known as a haircut, was illegal. Asked if it would be a next step, possibly in 2016, he said: "I can say that a haircut is not conceivable in 2016."

German economist Hans-Werner Sinn, a long-time critic of aid to Athens who argues that Greece should leave the euro zone, disagreed and said a haircut would come.

"The whole thing is a bottomless pit. It makes barely any difference, in my view, if you talk about loans or if you just call them gifts from the start," Sinn, head of the Munich-based Ifo think tank, told German radio. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday November 29, 2012 (14:16)  
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
No court hearings for civil cases
Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
End of reason, end of humanity
The effects of a slew of new and increased taxes introduced since the start of the crisis were first observed in the wages of those still fortunate enough to have jobs, who saw their take-ho...
EDITORIAL
Banks need to step up
What has been leaked so far regarding the results of the stress tests on Greeces lenders, which are due to be published on Sunday, appears positive. Greece needs a healthy, private banking ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. No court hearings for civil cases
6. Two small boats sink at Lavrio port
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeces closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.