Merkel 'confident' to get own majority in key euro vote

25th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she was confident she would not have to rely on the opposition to pass a crunch parliamentary vote on the eurozone, amid threats of a backbench rebellion.

"I would like to get my own majority and I am confident I will get this. I am going to campaign for that this week," she said on a talk show with a well-known German media personality ahead of the keenly awaited vote Thursday.

The conservative chancellor was reiterating comments she made last week.

The bill would implement the decision by EU leaders on July 21 to expand both the scope and volume of Europe's rescue fund to aid debt-stricken Greece and other struggling eurozone countries.

While the legislation is certain to pass -- the opposition has vowed to vote in favour -- Merkel faces the humiliation of having to rely on her rivals amid a threatened revolt by members of her own centre-right coalition.

The vote is certain to be watched very closely by jittery financial markets as Europe and the world look to Merkel, as the leader of the continent's top economy, to steer the euro to safety.

Several deputies from her junior coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats, have said they might vote against the bill or abstain and a failure to win her own majority could spark another political crisis for the chancellor.

Merkel also dismissed growing speculation that debt-mired Greece would leave the eurozone and quashed talk that Germany could bring back the beloved deutschmark and cut itself off from the troublesome eurozone.

"This I can rule out," she said, adding: "We would not be able to export any of our excellent export goods."

Germany is the world's second biggest exporter of goods after China.

© 2011 AFP

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