Negotiations approved German parliament backs talks on new Greek bailout

A total of 439 politicians vote to approve negotiations for new bailout worth $94bn, with 119 against.

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Chancellor Merkel has acknowledged substantial political opposition in Germany to the Greek bailout play

Chancellor Merkel has acknowledged substantial political opposition in Germany to the Greek bailout

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The German parliament has approved negotiations on a new, third bailout package for Greece hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble endorsed the proposal.

A total of 439 politicians voted on Friday to approve negotiations for the $94bn bailout, with 119 members voting against it, and 40 abstentions.

Earlier, Merkel had urged the country's legislators to approve the legislation, arguing that it would be negligent not to try for a deal.

Merkel told the special session of parliament that legislators faced "a decision for a strong Europe and a strong eurozone".

She said: "We would be grossly negligent, even irresponsible, if we did not at least try this road".

On Monday, legislators from Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party had voted overwhelmingly in a preliminary poll in favour of the Greek bailout deal, ahead of Friday's parliamentary ballot.

At the meeting on Monday that lasted five hours, 48 legislators dissented, while about 250 backed the deal.

Members of the Social Democrats, Merkel's coalition partner, also strongly supported the agreement at their own meeting.

Al Jazeera's Dominic Kane, reporting from Berlin, said: "Merkel has accepted that there were serious concerns among many in the political class in Germany about the thought of yet another bailout.

"But she said the euro was not just a currency, it was something that summed up Europe. As a consequence, this was metaphorically a price worth paying."


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