Friday August 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o 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)  
KEELPNO blames stomach bug for sick tourists on Rhodes
KEPs to issue new and replacement driving licenses
EU funds reserved for waste facilities in northern Greece
Coalition mulls property tax changes
Report: Greek banks sturdily positioned
Greeces banks are on sturdy capital ground, and if any capital injections are needed, the sum should not exceed 3.5 billion euros, Morgan Stanley notes in a new report. Morgan Stanley analy...
Economy stunted by property tax demands, report says
The overtaxation of property is suppressing the potential of an economic recovery, which could have been achieved as far back as the first quarter of 2013 had faulty and detrimental property...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greeces second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Self-destructing political system
It finally seemed as if we had found some peace of mind. The vast majority of Greek MPs chose to abstain from festivities on August 15, also known as Assumption Day, thus sparing us from the...
EDITORIAL
Welcome movement
Many have spoken about the need to spur economic growth in this debt-wracked country, but very few officials seem to actually be doing anything meaningful to make this happen. Recent weeks h...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. KEELPNO blames stomach bug for sick tourists on Rhodes
2. Report: Greek banks sturdily positioned
3. Economy stunted by property tax demands, report says
4. Primary surplus exceeds January-July target figure
5. KEPs to issue new and replacement driving licenses
6. EU funds reserved for waste facilities in northern Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Merkel cites euros construction flaws as economy sputters
2. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
3. Second man held over double murder in Mani
4. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
5. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
6. Inspectors visit Rhodes to probe reports of mass food poisoning of hotel guests
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Treating Amphipolis with care
3. Canadas fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Ministry sys no to debt collection agencies
6. Karatzaferis eyes ND-LAOS alliance to stop Tsipras
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.