German lower house approves Greek bailout deal


German lawmakers approved by a large majority on Friday a package of measures aimed at cutting Greece's debt load to 124 percent by 2020.

The vote was seen as a key test of Chancellor Angela Merkel's authority over her center-right coalition ahead of federal elections next September.

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The main opposition parties, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, backed the bailout along with the bulk of Merkel's conservative-liberal bloc. Of 584 deputies present in the chamber, 473 voted for the bailout, 100 voted against an 11 abstained.

(Writing by Gareth Jones, editing by Stephen Brown)