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Merkel lobbies for more support to help Greece

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Merkel lobbies for more support to help Greece
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Germany’s government has given the green light for the concerted rescue plan for Greece. The parliament in Berlin will vote on whether or not to approve at the end of this week.

Public opinion among German voters is largely against paying to help Greece out of the hole, and a regional election coming up on Sunday has influenced Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance on the aid plan.

She said: “We will push for creation of a European ratings agency, so that the European markets will be sturdier and better able to respond, in line with our ideas on a social market economy.”

Merkel does not need the opposition Social Democrats’ support to get parliamentary
approval but would prefer to have cross-party backing.

Europe’s biggest economy is to pay the biggest share of any EU state, kicking in 22 billion euros — more than a quarter of the loans over three years. France has agreed to pitch in with 17 billion euros.

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said: “The euro countries’ message is clear: ‘no to the attack on a country within the euro zone’. We in the euro zone are sticking together in solidarity. When one member is in difficulty, we come to its support — and we ask it to take certain measures.”

If Greece defaults on the rescue package loans, the loss will be taken by the taxpayers in the euro zone countries that have provided them.