Germany’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a third bailout for Greece on Wednesday, removing a key hurdle to providing new loans to the country and keeping it from defaulting on its debts in as little as 24 hours.
The vote’s result also seemed to dispel any speculation that Chancellor Angela Merkel would have difficulty getting her conservative bloc to sign on. Lawmakers voted 454-113 in favor, with 18 abstentions.
The approval is among the last due from parliaments across Europe, with the Dutch scheduled to vote later Wednesday, after which Greece is expected to get the first installment of its new 86 billion-euro ($95 billion) loans package.
The country needs the money within 24 hours to make a debt repayment Thursday. The board of the European bailout fund that will disburse the money will hold a teleconference Wednesday night to discuss the matter.
The German approval was never in doubt, but in a similar vote last month, 60 members of Merkel’s conservative bloc voted against, and some local media had speculated that even more could rebel this time as Germans are increasingly skeptical about giving Greece more money.
Though a party breakdown of the vote was not immediately available, the result suggested that, if anything, more of Merkel’s lawmakers voted in line with her recommendation.
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