After a two hour debate in the Bundestag German lawmakers approved the revised Greek bailout package, aimed at cutting the country's debt to 124% GDP by 2020. Out of the total of 584 deputies present 473 voted in favor of the bill, 100 against and 11 abstained.
The majority of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition members as well as the main opposition parties supported the Greek deal. This outcome has positive implications for Merkel herself, as the vote was also a test of her lawmaker's support for her European policies, ahead of the federal elections scheduled for September 2013.
During the debate preceding the vote German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed his satisfaction with Greece's austerity efforts and emphasized that the speculation on another haircut on Greek debt could destabilize the situation in the Eurozone further.
He also commented on the dangers connected with a Greek Eurozone exit: “It could trigger a process at the end of which the entire euro area could break apart.”
ECB's Draghi: Boosting competitiveness crucial for EU countries
ECB President Mario Draghi said on Friday during a conference in Paris that he sees a relative stabilization of market conditions in the Eurozone, pointing out however that it should not depend only on the central bank's actions. He stressed that boosting competitiveness in the area should be of utmost importance to EU governments.
Earlier on Friday, Mario Draghi told Europe 1 radio that budgetary consolidation would result in a short-term contraction of economic activity in the Eurozone but that a gradual recovery was expected in the second half of 2013.
The ECB President added that EU governments should step up the implementation of the banking union and assured that the ECB would do all it can to protect the euro.