German cabinet approves emergency aid to Greece

German cabinet approves emergency aid to Greece
# 03 May 2010 17:53 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The German cabinet Monday approved a bill that would provide some 22.4 billion euros (30 billion U.S. dollars) to debt-ridden Greece, APA reports quoting Xinhua News Agency.

The aid was part of an overall three-year aid package of 110 billion euros (146 billion dollars) agreed on by the Greek government, the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sunday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the rescue package was of enormous political and economic significance because what at stake now was not only Greece’s state finance, but also the stability of the euro as a whole.

She also called for the establishment of a European rating agency and stressed the need to reform the European Stability and Growth Pact so that it could no longer be undermined.

Speaking alongside Merkel at a press conference, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany "is fighting a fire started in Greece to prevent it from spreading to Europe and our currency."

According to Merkel, the German government would try hard to win parliamentary approval of the emergency bill by Friday.

Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD), however, left open the question of whether his party will endorse the legislation, saying the SPD will agree only if the ruling coalition makes a firm commitment to striving for comprehensive regulations of the financial market in 2010.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED