June 16, 2017 / 7:49 AM / 2 months ago

Germany's SPD push for parliament vote on Greece credit lifeline

FILE PHOTO: A view of the cityscape of Athens, Greece, March 26, 2017.Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior lawmaker from Germany's center-left Social Democrats (SPD) called on Friday for a full parliamentary debate on the euro zone's latest financing deal for Greece, challenging Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who suggested such a debate was unnecessary.

Schaeuble said after a Eurogroup meeting on Thursday that it would be up to the budget committee of the Bundestag to decide whether full parliamentary approval was needed.

But he said that he did not believe the agreement represented a substantive change to Greece's bailout program, meaning a broader debate in the Bundestag was not necessary.

"I don't believe that the budget committee should do this alone," said SPD lawmaker Johannes Kahrs, who is a member of the committee. "The Bundestag should do this."

A vote in the Bundestag on the 8.5 billion euros of loans from the euro zone's 18 other states could embarrass conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel as some of her lawmakers oppose aid to Greece.

Altogether 63 German conservative lawmakers voted against the third bailout for Greece in August 2015 and a further three abstained.

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Noah Barkin

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