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German Parliament approves Cyprus aid package

Thursday - 4/18/2013, 9:22am  ET

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks into her handbag during a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, on the EU financial assistance for Cyprus in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, April 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) -- The German Parliament on Thursday approved a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) rescue package for Cyprus by a wide margin.

Lawmakers voted 487-102 in favor of the bailout deal hammered out last month. Thirteen abstained.

Cyprus will receive 10 billion euros in loans after its bloated banking sector threatened to destroy the economy.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, insisted on making those holding large deposits in Cyprus' biggest banks contribute to the rescue. That position was shared by the German opposition.

All the rescue agreements involving euro countries need approval from the German Parliament.

Although some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition are uneasy about bailouts, the main opposition parties so far have supported them.

In separate votes Thursday, lawmakers approved by a similarly wide majority agreements to grant Ireland and Portugal seven years more years to pay their bailout loans -- a move meant to ease the burden on their economies and pave the way for a quicker return to sustainable growth.


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