German parliament gives green light to final Greek bailout

Berlin – A German parliamentary committee has approved the last loan payment to Greece under the debt-wracked country’s third and final international bailout package.

15-billion-euro

Lawmakers on the Bundestag’s budget committee signed off on the 15-billion-euro (17.5-billion-dollar) payment in a special session during the summer holiday.

The measure passed despite objections from the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the pro-business Free Democrats.

The three bailouts since 2010 are worth a combined 273.7 billion euros (318.2 billion dollars). The last package ends on August 20.

Terms of Greece’s exit

Eurozone finance ministers agreed on the terms of Greece’s exit in June, and the package was then approved in all eurozone capitals except Berlin.

The reason for Germany’s reservation was a decision by the Greek government to delay until the end of the year a planned VAT increase on five Aegean islands that have been particularly hard-hit by migration.

German lawmakers relented after Athens promised to make up for the loss on the higher sales tax by making cuts to the defence budget.