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German Parliament Approves Euro Rescue Package

A screen displays the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro at the headquarters of the Exchange Bank in Seoul.
The German lower house of parliament has approved Germany's share in a multibillion-euro rescue package for debt-stricken eurozone countries.

The Bundestag voted 319 to 73 with 195 abstentions in favor of the plan.

The Bundesrat upper house was expected to approve the measure later today.

Germany is to contribute up to 150 billion euros of the 750 billion euro (nearly $950 billion) package agreed two weeks ago by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to protect eurozone nations from bankruptcy.

Two weeks ago, parliament passed a bill allowing Germany to contribute over 22 billion euros ($28 billion) to a 110 billion-euro rescue plan for debt-stricken Greece.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that "if the euro fails, then Europe fails."

The rescue packages are unpopular with Germans, but Merkel's center-right coalition has a majority in both houses of parliament.

compiled from agency reports