Germany votes in favour of third Greek bailout

Germany votes in favour of third Greek bailout

A resounding majority of Germany’s conservative lawmakers voted in favour of starting talks on a third Greek bailout in a test ballot on Thursday, the eve of a vote in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, sources in the conservative parliamentary faction said.

In the test ballot, 48 lawmakers in the conservative bloc opposed talks on further Greek aid while three abstained, the sources said.

The conservative bloc, which is composed of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has more than 300 seats in parliament.

The Bundestag is expected to give Merkel’s government a mandate to open negotiations, with the Social Democrats – her junior coalition partner – and some opposition parties expected to vote ‘yes’.