Germany backs second Greek bailout

@CNNMoneyInvest February 27, 2012: 1:03 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In a widely expected move, German lawmakers approved Monday a politically unpopular second bailout for Greece.

The vote on Germany's contribution to the €130 billion rescue package passed with a large majority, despite opposition from within German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

It passed with 496 votes in favor, 90 against and 5 abstentions in the lower house of Germany's Bundestag.

The vote means Greece is one step closer to its second bailout, which euro area finance ministers approved last week. European Union heads of state are expected to officially approve the package at a summit later this week.

G20 chiefs: Europe needs a bigger financial firewall

To qualify for the bailout, Greece is scrambling to complete a series of austerity measures linked to its initial rescue package and has pledged to enact structural reforms aimed at reviving its economy.

Merkel urged lawmakers ahead of the vote to approve the bailout, though she acknowledged that there is no guarantee it will work.

The rescue package is deeply unpopular among German voters. According to a poll by German newspaper Bild taken over the weekend, 60% of Germans oppose backing more loans to Greece.

But supporters say allowing Greece to default on its debts would shake the euro currency union and send shockwaves through the global financial system.

Lawmakers in Finland and the Netherlands are also expected to approve the bailout this week. To top of page

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