German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Greek bailout on Feb. 27, if political parties in Greece meet the conditions needed to win more aid.
Merkel invited the leaders of the six parties represented in the lower house of parliament to the Chancellery in Berlin today for a briefing on Greece, when she announced the proposed date for the vote, Left Party Chairman Klaus Ernst told reporters after the meeting. Merkel then briefed coalition lawmakers in a bid to shore up support for yet more aid.
“I do believe there will be a majority if the Greeks are ready to take all the measures that are needed,” Michael Fuchs, the economic affairs spokesman in parliament for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told reporters in the lower house, the Bundestag. “But they do have to, otherwise I don’t see a majority in the German Bundestag.”
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers that Greece’s debt-cutting pledges still fall short and the country needs to do more to achieve the target of 120 percent of gross domestic product, according to two people who took part in the meeting. Merkel said while Greek aid has always been dependent upon conditions, the situation could spin out of control if Greece is cut off from money, a party official told reporters.
The assumptions for Greek recovery made by the so-called troika of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, are “much too optimistic,” said Frank Schaeffler, a lawmaker for Merkel’s Free Democratic Party coalition partner and leading opponent of euro-area rescues. Greece has “no chance” to revive its economy without slashing its debt and leaving the euro area, he said.
With little more than two weeks left for Greece to commit to cuts and bring them into law before Germany votes, the aid package is “hanging by a thread,” said Otto Fricke, the FDP’s budget spokesman in parliament.
“Greece has got to implement what it will promise in quick succession,” Fricke told reporters. “Otherwise we may not be able to get this package through in time.”
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