Dutch MPs approve Greek aid

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Dutch MPs on Friday overwhelmingly approved the Netherlands' contribution to a 110-billion-euro Greek aid package in a special vote that required a suspension of the parliamentary recess.

A motion by the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) to "not give a cent to Greece" was rejected in the lower house of parliament.

Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager insisted that his country's contribution, 4.7 billion euros (six billion dollars), was "for the sake of financial stability".

"The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the contribution" never being repaid, the minister said in response to concerns from the floor.

"We are doing it for financial stability; to show the world that the eurozone is stable," he said, adding that this was particularly important for a country that relied so heavily on foreign trade.

The motion of the PVV, which has nine MPs, was rejected by 83 votes to 30 as parliamentarians returned from recess for a special plenary session to measure support for the government's backing of the Greek aid plan.

Leaders from the 16 euro countries were meeting in Brussels Friday about the joint European Union and International Monetary Fund package to rescue Greece from potential debt default in a crisis that has sent the euro plunging.

© 2010 AFP

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