The German Parliament authorized the German government on Friday to engage in negotiations for a European Stability Mechanism bailout program for Greece.
439 lawmakers voted Yes, 119 voted No and 40 abstained. 50 lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition government voted against the bailout deal.
Prior to the vote, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reiterated that a Greek debt haircut is out of the question, as it would be illegal. However, he recognized that the proposed bailout program would be difficult for Greece without a haircut and sustainable solutions are necessary for its success.
If this bailout deal is finalized, it would be Greece’s third since 2010. Schaeuble told the Bundestag that this would be the most challenging one yet.
He also warned German lawmakers that this is the last opportunity to resolve Greece’s problems. The finance minister argued that he wants the debt-ridden country to stay in the eurozone but also noted that the rules of the monetary union need to be followed.