NEWS

Important step has been made, says Merkel

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday hailed a confidence vote victory by the Greek government as an «important step» in resolving a perilous debt crisis.

“It is an important step and we will see the next step next week,» she told deputies from parliament’s foreign affairs committee, referring to a debate on budget reforms imposed by Athens’s European and International Monetary Fund creditors.

She added that she had spoken to Prime Minister George Papandreou by telephone earlier Wednesday.

The Greek government pulled through a confidence vote early Wednesday, with Papandreou having called for support «to avoid bankruptcy and keep Greece in the euro core.”

Germany is the biggest single contributor among eurozone countries to Greece’s rescue but polls indicate most voters oppose further aid for Greece. [AFP]