“German lawmakers approved Greece’s latest rescue package as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned that a default in the country where the debt crisis began could trigger the collapse of the single currency.
The passage caps a year in which Chancellor Angela Merkel has had to tamp down criticism within her ranks over transfers to Greece and quell calls to expel the country from the euro. Legislators in Germany’s lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, voted 473 in favor; 100 voted no and 11 abstained.
“The potential effects of a Greek default on other euro states would be grave — in truth the consequences would be unpredictable,” Schaeuble said in a speech to the Bundestag in Berlin. “It could trigger a process at the end of which the entire euro area could break apart.”
Comparing Greece with eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Schaeuble said crisis-fighting efforts are working as European leaders shepherded through a new package designed to ease terms for bailout aid for Greece and help resolve the three-year-old debt crisis.
Lawmakers in Merkel’s coalition and opposition leaders this week lauded the agreement in Brussels to give Greece more time to meet budget targets. The accord met Germany’s condition on ruling out a debt write-off for Greece that would be felt by creditor countries’ taxpayers.”Twitter