Three Germans in four against wider EU rescue fund: poll

9th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

More than three-quarters of Germans are opposed to widening the EU's rescue fund for debt-wracked countries, a poll said Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel braces for a crunch parliamentary vote on the issue.

The survey, conducted for the ZDF television channel, showed 76 percent of people in Europe's top economy were against broadening the scope and volume of the fund, as agreed by EU leaders in July to stem the eurozone debt crisis.

Only 18 percent of those polled were in favour of boosting the EU fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which would mean increasing Germany's loan guarantees from 123 billion euros ($168 billion) to 211 billion euros.

Merkel faces a potential backbench rebellion from within her own centre-right coalition when the German parliament votes on the expansion of the EFSF, most likely on September 29.

The legislation is certain to pass, as opposition parties have said they will back the bill, but it would be a major embarrassment to Merkel if she had to rely on others to approve the step.

The poll showed 50 percent of people thought the German government's had not reacted well to the crisis, with only 38 percent saying Berlin had performed well.

© 2011 AFP

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