Published on September 30th, 2011 |
by Nina Schick
Victory in the Bundestag for Angela Merkel: but what next?
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, successfully defied her critics yesterday with a clear majority of her coalition government voting in favour of the eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
Germany’s latest pledge will increase the EFSF’s overall reserve to €440 billion, taking Germany’s guarantee from €123 to €211 billion. Polls conducted prior to the vote showed that German public opinion is resolutely against the motion.
Although the Bundestag was expected to approve the enhanced powers for the bailout fund, the uncertain scale of the majority lead to fears for Merkel’s coalition party, which has been suffering from loss of support at the Länder or state level.
Analysts believe that Merkel’s coalition might have collapsed if she had failed to pass the vote without support from opposition MPs from the Social Democrats (SDP) and Green parties.
A resounding victory – 523 MPs voting in favour, 85 against and 3 abstentions – will have come as a huge relief for the Chancellor, reasserting her position at the helm of her coalition government and Germany’s leadership role in dealing with the eurozone debt crisis.
While Brussels hailed Merkel’s victory as a significant step in overcoming the crisis, analysts have expressed concern that the EFSF plan, agreed in July, would not be adequate as it has been “comprehensively overtaken by events”.