French parliament approves Greek aid package

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French lawmakers approved early Tuesday 16.8 billion euros (22 billion dollars) of financial aid for Greece, France's share of a vast eurozone bailout to save Athens from a debt default.

The ruling right-wing UMP and the opposition Socialist party both backed the measure, part of a joint eurozone-International Monetary Fund package seen as the last chance to save Greece from bankruptcy.

Left-wing deputies, including the Communists, and one independent voted against.

It must now pass to the Senate for approval later in the week, most likely on Thursday.

France's share of the bailout rose from an earlier projection of 6.3 billion euros to 16.8 billion -- part of a 110-billion-euro pot of eurozone and IMF funds agreed by governments on Sunday.

This makes France the second-biggest contributor to the package after Germany which will provide 22.4 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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