The German Bundestag has approved a 750 billion euro safety net to stabilise the euro.
The lower house passed Berlin’s contribution of close to 148 billion euros in loan guarantees along with a 22.4 billion to help the cash strapped Greeks.
Both moves are deeply unpopular with German voters.
Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister explained the thinking the behind the government’s moves:
“We are for a strong,powerful and decisive Europe, capable of action. And we are for a stable common currency. And for this we are ready to assume responsibility.”
Despite the victory in the Bundestag the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to rally cross-party support and the vote offered no prop for European shares, which fell some two per cent.
On Wednesday Germany banned speculative trading in certain areas and shares along with the euro plummeted, a move that drew sharp criticism from EU partners.
Since then the French and Germans have come together to help ease the European debt crisis, support the euro and press jointly for global financial regulation.