German parliament to vote on Greek package next week

The Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, is pictured in Berlin on Aug 14, 2015.
The Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, is pictured in Berlin on Aug 14, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - The president of the German lower house of parliament has invited lawmakers to a special session on Wednesday morning to vote on a new 86 billion euro (S$134 billion) bailout package for Greece.

Norbert Lammert sent out the invitation, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, on Saturday morning after euro zone finance ministers approved the rescue at a meeting in Brussels late on Friday.

Although there is little doubt that the Bundestag will back the bailout, the vote is shaping up as a test for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who saw 65 lawmakers in her conservative camp break ranks last month and refuse to back negotiations on a third bailout.

Even more could rebel in Wednesday's vote, especially as there are no guarantees that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will participate in the rescue.

Merkel's allies had told lawmakers in recent weeks that they viewed IMF participation as a condition for a deal.