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European debt crisis: Germany votes on eurozone rescue package – Live

Crucial test for Angela Merkel as the Bundestag decides whether to approve extending the powers of the European Financial Stability Facility

8.00am: The German debate is just about to start.

The Bundestag looks certain to approve enhanced powers for the eurozone’s bailout fund on Thursday, but Angela Merkel’s credibility is at stake. Will she get a convincing majority within her own coalition of Christian Democrats and Liberals – or will she scrape through with the votes of the main opposition parties, the Social Democrats and Greens?

While most of Merkel’s own CDU party are toeing the party line, Horst Seehofer, the leader of its sister faction, the Bavarian CSU, is making life difficult for her. He recently disagreed with her contention that Europe would fail if the euro failed. “I don’t see the connection,” he stated bluntly.

As far as the CDU goes, its chief whip, Peter Altmeier, is confident. “As a chief whip, I have to be optimistic, but so far we have managed to win every single struggle in parliament, every single vote and that is going to happen again this Thursday,” he told the BBC on Wednesday.

You can watch the German debate live here

7.49am: City traders believe the stock markets will lose ground again this morning, at least until the German vote on the EFSF has been concluded. Last night the Dow Jones index fell 1.6%, after the FTSE 100 has shed 76 points.

Chris Weston of IG Markets warned that:

In what is becoming an increasingly common theme, investor sentiment faltered once again yesterday over the outlook for successfully navigating the eurozone debt crisis.

7.38am: Here’s a breakdown of some of the key timings today:

• The Bundestag will start debating the EFSF expansion at 9am CET (8am BST)
• Voting is expected to begin at 11am CET (10am BST)
• The EU summit in Warsaw is taking place all day
• Eurozone consumer confidence data is released at 11am CET (10am BST)
• Revised US second-quarter GDP is released at 8.30am EST (1.30BST)

7.31am: Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the European debt crisis. Later this morning, the German Bundestag will vote on the proposal to enlarge and extend the eurozone rescue packaga.

Angela Merkel is likely to win the vote, but may lose the support of some members of her own coalition.

Elsewhere, Nick Clegg will address the EU summit in Warsaw. The deputy prime minister is expected to warn that the European Union could fragment if its members fail to work together to resolve the situation.

More strikes are expected in Greece, where international inspectors will begin to assess whether George Papandreou’s administration has done enough to earn the next €8bn portion of its bailout fund. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds