Members of Germany’s parliament voted Friday to approve ongoing negotiations between Greece and its European creditors to solve the country’s debt crisis. The vote unfolded amid a divide among Germany’s government -- which holds the majority of Greece’s debt -- as to whether it would be in Germany’s best interests to approve Greece’s third bailout package within the last five years.
Some 439 German legislators voted to continue negotiations on the Greece debt deal after calling Monday for the Greek government to accept harsh austerity measures in exchange for 86 billion euro, or about $96 billion in loans over the next three years. Among the 119 legislators who voted against the measure were 50 members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, known as the Union party, the Guardian reported. Earlier Friday, Merkel urged German parliament to allow the country to move forward with the bailout negotiations.
“The alternative to this agreement would not have been an orderly exit from the euro, one that Greece wanted and was drawn up by everybody, but predictable chaos,” Merkel told German lawmakers, according to the New York Times. “We would be grossly negligent, even irresponsible, if we did not at least try this path.”
Greece's parliament voted earlier this week to approve the bailout package, despite widespread opposition its austerity measures, which included an increased sales tax and pension cuts, Reuters reported. Like Merkel, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dealt with opposition within his own Syriza party ahead of the vote.