German Parliament approves Greek loan extension

Bild launches campaign, selfie with 'Nein!' to Athens

27 February, 13:02

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Bundestag in Berlin before a vote on extending Greece's bailout German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Bundestag in Berlin before a vote on extending Greece's bailout

    (ANSAmed) - ATHENS - The German Parliament has overwhelmingly approved the Greek application for an extension of the loan agreement, as decided at last Friday's Eurogroup in Brussels. In total, as daily To Vima online reports, 542 MPs voted in favor of the application, 32 voted against and 13 were absent from the vote. With the CDU and CSU having already decided to support the Greek application, the approval was never questioned. The SPD and Greens also supported the application, as did a number of Linke MPs.

    The Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble insisted that "the decision was not easy" and that recent reports "did not make it easier", while maintaining that it remains to be seen if the Greek government will uphold its commitments. He further explained that the application was not for more money, but time to complete the program. Each speaker who took the stand expressed their reservations, either over Athens' resolve (such as the Christian Democrats) or the effects of the policy that is being implemented in Greece (Greens and Linke). The Social Democrat's Axel Schafer, noted that "the threats of exclusion from the Eurozone and talks of a Grexit" were "nonsense", arguing that a Grexit would not only destroy Greece, but the European Union as well.

    Some MPs expressed outrage towards the initiative launched by the Bild tabloid 'Many selfies to say no' against the prolongation of the aid programme to Greece. "Bild readers say Nein!", is the title of the tabloid run by Axel Springer, "no to more billions to Greece". "We believe it's enough, enough is enough. That's the opinion of many Bild readers" wrote the tabloid wishing to "send a strong message against the prolongation of billion-worth aid to Greece".

    "We can not accept it, we do not support such a thing ", said Spd's deputy group leader, Axel Schaefer, stressing that it could appear as an "attack against other populations". Schaefer showed his colleagues in the House the page of Bild, with its "Nein" crossed out on the front cover. Annette Groth, from Linke, said : "I am ashamed by the way Greece was treated in our public debate on some occasions and by some of our politicians". The parliamentary whip for the Greens, Anton Hofreiter, said that if the Bild's way of thinking were to take hold "it would be a catastrophe for Europe". "What we need is supportive European politics", he added, while CDU's Ralph Brinkhaus maintained: "Four countries, out of the five which went through the rescue-plan have been successful or very successful. This means that saying 'yes' and not 'no' as a tabloid would wish for today, was actually worth it".(ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean