Merkel Wins Greek Aid Vote After Damage Warning
Chancellor Angela Merkel won a parliamentary vote on Greek aid after warning German lawmakers that pushing Greece out of the euro would risk “incalculable” damage, defying a public backlash against more bailout funds, Bloomberg reported. In a vote that showed dissent in her coalition growing, 496 members of the lower house, or Bundestag, voted in favor of the 130 billion-euro ($174 billion) package in Berlin; 90 voted against and five abstained. While questions on Greece’s remaining in the euro “have their justification,” Merkel warned that a failure of the euro might endanger the Europe Union and the global economy. “I think those risks are incalculable, and therefore indefensible,” Merkel told lawmakers in the Bundestag today. As chancellor, “I should and have to take risks, but I cannot embark on adventures. My oath forbids that,” she said. Merkel’s government pushed through the measure to stave off a collapse of the Greek economy amid signs of growing resistance and as one of her Cabinet ministers said Greece should leave the single currency. Euro leaders will now shift their focus on whether to bolster the region’s bailout firewall as they prepare for a summit meeting in Brussels on March 1-2. Read more.