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Crucial vote for Merkel on eurozone fund

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Crucial vote for Merkel on eurozone fund

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All eyes are on the German Bundestag today for a vote seen as the biggest test yet of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership.

The lower house of parliament is voting on whether to bolster the powers of the fund for eurozone countries in trouble.

A political analyst at the University of Mainz, Juergen Falter, said: “Angela Merkel will have a majority … a majority for the European safety system. But it may be that she won’t have a majority on her own, from her own coalition. And this would mean of course, at least symbolically, that she would be weakened.”

Germany remains divided on the question of bailing out struggling eurozone countries such as Greece.

MEP Marietta Giannakou, a Greek Member of the Group of the European People’s Party, said: “Me I also hope the opposition Social Democrats will vote yes. I think that would also be positive for the other small countries that have not yet agreed or ratified this programme.”

Merkel has told Athens that Germany is willing to help financially, but only if Greek leaders do all they can in terms of what she calls their “own homework”.