Greek debt crisis: German MPs back bailout extension

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Baku, February 27, AZERTAC

The German parliament has voted to extend financial aid to Greece by another four months.

The extension - approved by creditors last week in exchange for a series of Greek government reforms - needs to be ratified by eurozone members.

Some MPs had expressed doubts about the deal and there is substantial public scepticism but the vote passed easily.

It comes after police and protesters clashed during anti-government demonstrations in Athens on Thursday.

They were the first such disturbances since Greece's leftist Syriza was sworn in as the main government party exactly a month ago, promising to renegotiate the country's debt and end austerity.

Dozens of activists hurled petrol bombs and stones at police and set cars alight after a march involving hundreds of protesters. Some carried banners calling for Greece to leave the EU and for its debt to be cancelled.

Eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday approved a set of reform proposals submitted by Greece.

As the dominant economic power in the EU, Germany's approval was regarded as crucial - and on Friday the overwhelming majority of MPs granted it. A total of 542 voted for the proposals, with 32 voting against and 13 abstentions.

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