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Key European Officials Approve Latest Greek Bailout

  • VOA News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, smiles as parliamentary faction leader Volker Kauder opens a meeting of the Christian Democratic Party's parliamentary faction on the eve of Wednesday's vote on another bailout package for Greece, Aug. 18, 2015.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, smiles as parliamentary faction leader Volker Kauder opens a meeting of the Christian Democratic Party's parliamentary faction on the eve of Wednesday's vote on another bailout package for Greece, Aug. 18, 2015.

Officials of the European Stability Mechanism on Wednesday formally approved the release of billions of dollars to help rebuild Greece's battered economy and pay down its debt.

Earlier, German lawmakers voted to approve the $95 billion bailout package, which will help Greece meet Thursday's deadline for a payment to international creditors.

Germany is the largest single contributor to Greece's economic bailout and thus had to approve the deal before it could proceed.

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras answers opposition questions in parliament in Athens, July 31, 2015.

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras answers opposition questions in parliament in Athens, July 31, 2015.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's finance minister, Wolfgang Schnaeuble, told lawmakers it would be "irresponsible" not to approve the bailout, for the good of Greece and for the European Union.

Last Friday, eurozone finance ministers approved the first $29 billion payment of the bailout deal for Greece after the Greek parliament approved the package earlier in the day.

Greece must deliver about $3.5 billion in debt repayment to the European Central Bank by August 20.

The eurozone decision saved Greece from default and helped to avoid its exit from the single currency Eurozone.

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