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Luxembourg approves Greek rescue package

Luxembourg’s lower house of parliament approved the eurozone’s rescue package for Greece on Thursday, joining France and Belgium in voting for the July 21 agreement.

The chamber backed the expansion of the eurozone’s rescue fund for struggling economies, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), to 440 billion euros ($611 billion).

The Grand Duchy’s lower house voted 54-5 in favour of raising the guarantees provided by Luxembourg within the EFSF to 2.0 billion euros from 1.15 billion euros.

“It’s not legislation that we can adopt with much happiness, but it is necessary,” Finance Minister Luc Frieden told the parliament.

“The aid cannot be rejected, but governments must make efforts to reduce their debts,” he added.

The European Commission, as well as the French and German leaders, have urged eurozone nations to adopt the measures, which included a 159-billion-euro Greek bailout and the expansion of the EFSF’s powers, by the end of September.

The Belgian parliament approved the measures this week following French lawmakers last week.

But lawmakers in Slovakia and Austria have threatened to delay votes in their parliaments. EU finance ministers are holding talks on Friday and Saturday to seek to bridge divisions over the new Greek bailout.