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GERMANY TO VOTE ON EURO BAIL-OUT

By NBF News
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Angela Merkel is under pressure over her handling of the crisis

The German parliament is to vote on its contribution to a 750bn euro ($938bn, £651bn) rescue deal for the eurozone.

Chancellor Angela Merkel supports the rescue package, which is designed to shore up the finances of struggling eurozone countries.

Parliament is to vote on a German contribution of up to 148bn euros.

It comes as an EU task force of finance ministers is to meet in Brussels later to discuss ways to prevent a repeat of the economic crisis in Greece.

The ministers are expected to propose changes to EU budget rules to tighten up financial regulation.

European markets fell after opening on Friday amid fears that the region's debt crisis could spread.

Mrs Merkel warned earlier this week that the euro would be “in danger” without strong action.

She has also called for tougher regulation of banks and financial markets ahead of next month's G20 summit in Canada.

Under attack
The German leader has tried to secure parliamentary support for Germany's contribution to the European bail-out fund by announcing a unilateral ban on naked short-selling.

Germany angered other EU nations by acting alone on the ban, which triggered a fall in stock markets and the euro.

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg reports from Berlin that Mrs Merkel has been under attack at home and abroad for her handling of the financial crisis.

Bail-out plans for Greece are thought to have contributed to a defeat for her centre-right coalition in a key state election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

The eurozone's leading economies, Germany and France, have been divided over how to deal with the debt crisis, though French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he had “no disagreements” with Mrs Merkel.