Berlin vote on Greek aid deal

German lawmakers will vote on Wednesday on a new aid package for Greece, which needs approval to meet a debt payment deadline a day later.

The vote in the Bundestag will follow euro-area finance ministers’ decision last Friday to endorse the €86bn loan programme. Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose coalition has a parliament majority, moved a planned visit to Milan up a day to today to allow time to attend caucus meetings the night before to argue against opponents in her own parliamentary group.

The new Greek programme will see funds disbursed over three years as the government enacts economic reforms, though prime minister Alexis Tsipras will get a portion immediately to cover looming bills. One of those, a €3.2bn payment to the European Central Bank, is due on Thursday.

There has been “enormous progress” in movement toward a Greek deal, and the International Monetary Fund has “made it remarkably clear” that it will join in a third bailout in the autumn, German deputy finance minister Jens Spahn said at the weekend.

“Every last person in Europe must have understood that membership in the euro isn’t possible without making efforts of your own,” Spahn said.

In a statement after their meeting, the eurozone finance ministers said €26bn will be made available in the first disbursement, including €10bn or a fund to recapitalise Greek banks.

Bloomberg


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