Make us your home page
Instagram

Reluctantly, Germans pledge $29 billion to Greek bailout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle meet in Berlin Monday on the Greek bailout.

Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle meet in Berlin Monday on the Greek bailout.

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet approved legislation on Monday that would give Greece $29.6 billion over three years as part of a wider bailout, as the German government acknowledged that letting Greece go bankrupt could send the euro into a tailspin and hurt Germany's own economy.

"It doesn't only mean that we help Greece, but that we stabilize the euro as a whole, which helps people in Germany," said Merkel, who, along with Germany, had been battered by critics for dragging her feet on any decision until Greek bonds were relegated to junk status last week.

The remark was a nod to the popular discontent in Europe's biggest economy about having to pay so much to help a fellow European Union country that many Germans feel has been fast and loose with its finances for years.

The European Central Bank, meanwhile, suspended its rating limits on Greek debt.

Both moves were mandatory after European governments and the International Monetary Fund agreed Sunday to give $145 billion in loans to Greece over three years. The loans came after Athens adopted a new round of austerity measures that provoked fresh uproar among workers.

IMF officials say Greece could start receiving money from the rescue package in about a week.

Germany would contribute $11.1 billion this year, followed by $18.5 billion over 2011 and 2012, or 28 percent of the overall package.

The draft law backed by the Cabinet will be debated by both houses of parliament, and Merkel wants to have it approved before she heads to Brussels on Friday for an EU summit on Greece. The bill is expected to pass.

In Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini criticized Berlin for the delay. "The later you intervene, the worse it gets," Frattini said Monday.

France will contribute 20.7 percent of the total, or about $21.9 billion, over three years, at a fixed rate of 5 percent, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said.

Greece announced more austerity measures on Sunday worth $40 billion through 2012, including public service and pension pay cuts and higher taxes. In response, about 1,000 garbage collectors and other striking municipal workers marched to the Greek parliament on Monday, chanting "trash for parliament, not the landfill!"

But Prime Minister George Papandreou insisted the new measures are vital for Greece's financial survival. "We are making changes that should have happened years ago."

The ECB, the central bank for the 16 nations that use the euro, said Monday it was suspending the minimum credit rating requirement for all existing and new debt instruments "issued or guaranteed by the Greek government."

Reluctantly, Germans pledge $29 billion to Greek bailout 05/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself

    Airlines

    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump

    Business

    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)