BERLIN, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The federal parliament in Germany granted its approval to the final tranche of Eurozone bailout funds for Greece on Friday.
A large majority of 410 delegates supported a corresponding request by the Ministry of Finance, an outcome which was necessary for Berlin to commit to a landmark deal which was recently agreed between Athens and its international creditors. Two hundred and twenty-six parliamentarians voted against the motion while seven abstained.
"We have given a sign of European solidarity", Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) commented on the development, highlighting that Greece was already "on a good path" to economic recovery again and would hence be able to successfully complete its third bailout program in August.
Greece has been promised a final transfer of additional credit worth 15 billion euros (17.5 billion U.S. dollars) to bolster its household finances and has agreed to continue with its ongoing budgetary consolidation efforts and structural reforms in exchange. Additionally, Athens' debt repayment moratorium has been pushed back for a further ten years in order to give the Southern European country more breathing space when it returns to international capital markets.
Achim Post, deputy parliamentary faction leader for the German Social Democrats (SPD), argued that the steps taken by Eurozone members together to resolve the Greek sovereign debt crisis showed that Europe was still capable of speaking with one voice and acting decisively. "We have taken a big step forward", Post said.
By contrast, Peter Boehringer, budgetary spokesperson for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) criticized that the financial aid offered to Greece could not be economically justified. Boehringer described the bailout efforts as a "multi-billion-euro gift" which would merely delay Greek insolvency to the detriment of taxpayers.
Official figures published by the federal government show that Germany has so far netted a healthy profit on its emergency loans to Greece. Since 2010, Berlin achieved a return of 2.9 billion euros on funds transferred under the Eurozone bailout program.