Germany’s Bundestag has supported a third bailout package to Greece in a majority vote, paving the way for further negotiations of fresh money being provided to Athens of up to €86 billion. 439 MPs voted in favor, 119 – against, while 40 abstained.
The details of the three-year aid package are now set to be thrashed out between Greece and its partners in the eurozone. The process is expected to last around four weeks.
The Austrian parliament also approved the new Greek bailout at a special session Friday following heated debate.
The third bailout package to Greece was agreed between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Troika of international creditors on Monday. The loan is for the next three years and could reach €86 billion.
On Wednesday, eurozone ministers agreed to unlock a €7 billion bridging loan to Greece. This money will help Athens to pay its debt to the IMF and the ECB, while it will also help to keep the economy afloat while the bigger sum of money is debated.
Ahead of the decision, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among those who urged Bundestag to vote in favor of the third bailout program intended to aid cash-strapped Greece.
“We are making the last attempt in difficult negotiations among the 19 members of the eurogroup, in spite of all the blows of the last six months and all the skepticism, to create preconditions for the Greek request to fall in line with the ESM,“ she said.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has repeatedly been saying that the Greek debt of €316 billion cannot be restructured within the eurozone. The Hellenic Republic should temporarily leave it to settle its problems, he says.
On Wednesday, the Greek parliament voted in favor of the austerity measures, which are a mandatory requirement from the eurozone. This renewed the talks on the financial aid to Greece.
The vote split the Syriza party, 39 members of which voted against the agreement, regarding tax hikes, an increase in the retirement age, cuts in military spending and pension reforms that the deal includes are contradicting the results of the July 5 referendum, in which 61 percent of the population voted against austerity.
Among the rebels was former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who said the bailout deal was “a new Versailles Treaty,” the agreement that demanded huge reparations to be paid by Germany after its defeat in World War I.