Gareth Jones and Stephen Brown
June 30, 2012
Germany’s parliament resoundingly approved the euro zone’s permanent bailout scheme and new budget rules on Friday, but legal hurdles remain and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s concessions to euro zone partners Italy and Spain may make those harder to overcome.
The outcome of the vote was never seriously in doubt after opposition parties agreed to back the budget rules, or “fiscal compact”, in return for growth and job creation measures. Merkel needed their support to get a required two-thirds majority.
“Today Germany, with the approval of the fiscal pact and the ESM by all parties in both houses of parliament, will send an important signal … that we are overcoming the European debt crisis in a sustainable way,” Merkel told the lower house, the Bundestag, before the votes.