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German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s parliamentary leader Volker Kauder has provoked fury among fellow conservatives by proposing that MPs from the bloc who dissent on Greek bailout votes should be punished.
Kauder’s comments underline concern in the German government about a growing rebellion among conservative lawmakers against asking taxpayers to provide guarantees for a third Greek bailout worth €86 billion. The number of conservatives who voted against the bailout agreement in mid-July more than doubled to 60, when compared to the previous bailout vote.
Berlin is understandably nervous that the rebel ranks could swell further when the Bundestag is called back from its summer break in the next few weeks to vote on the details of the Greek deal, which could be finalized as early as this week in Athens.
Kauder, a Merkel loyalist who made international headlines in 2011 by saying that “Now Europe speaks German!” because Berlin was imposing its austerity dogma, gave his typically tough view on dissenters in an interview to Welt am Sonntag newspaper....................
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