German parliament approves Greek bailout extension

German parliament approves Greek bailout extension
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and fellow deputies leave after casting their vote on the approval to extend Greece's bailout, during a session of the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, in Berlin February 27, 2015.

BERLIN - Germany's parliament approved an extension of Greece's bailout on Friday after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has voiced doubts about whether Athens can be trusted, promised it would not be allowed to "blackmail" its euro zone partners.

With 542 lawmakers voting in favour, including almost all of Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition plus the opposition Greens, it was the biggest majority for any euro zone rescue package so far in the 631-seat chamber.

The Bundestag vote was the only major parliamentary hurdle for a four-month extension to the bailout programme for the most heavily-indebted country in the single currency zone.

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