German Parliament approves Cyprus aid package

German Parliament approves $13 billion aid package for Cyprus by wide margin

Associated Press
German Parliament approves Cyprus aid package
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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble leaves the speakers podium after his speech as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament Bundestag on the financial crisis of Cyprus in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, April 18, 2013. In the foreground are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler. (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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