Angela Merkel
Markus Schreiber  /  AP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, addresses the media after a meeting with German parliament floor leaders about the European Union bail-out in Berlin, Monday, May 10, 2010. The decision to purchase bonds - called for by economists for weeks - did much to calm markets jittery about the continent's debt crisis, twinned with a nearly US dlrs 1 trillion rescue loan program from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
updated 5/10/2010 12:48:22 PM ET 2010-05-10T16:48:22

Germany's government will move swiftly to approve its share of the new rescue package for the euro zone, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday, calling the plan a necessary measure to protect her compatriots' money.

Merkel said her Cabinet will pass the package of loan guarantees in a special meeting Tuesday and it will then go to parliament for "quick but thorough" consideration.

Under the three-year plan, the European Commission — the EU's governing body — will make €60 billion ($75 billion) available while countries from the 16-nation euro zone would promise backing for €440 billion ($570 billion).

The IMF would contribute an additional sum; and the European Central Bank said it is ready to buy debt from the euro zone.

"We are convinced that everything was done to be able to secure the stability of our currency," Merkel said at a brief early morning news conference.

"I can say this to our citizens: we are protecting the money of people in Germany," she said. "This package is necessary and serves to guarantee and secure the future of the euro."

Germany's share of the loan guarantees may add up to €123 billion or more.

Merkel stressed that budget consolidation in the 16 euro-zone countries will have "extraordinary importance."

"Access to the guarantees we are setting up will be linked to consolidation programs being provided to the IMF and the European Union, which will then be regularly reviewed," Merkel stressed.

Rescuing Greece from its own financial irresponsibility was unpopular in Germany. The government on Friday pushed through parliament Germany's share of a separate rescue package for Greece.

Merkel said that "we don't need to approve this bill within two or three days but can complete deliberations with a little more time" because the European Commission's initial €60 billion contribution doesn't require national approval.

After meeting parties' parliamentary leaders later Monday, Merkel indicated that lawmakers will start considering the package next week.

She said that Germany had negotiated hard and that it had been important "to push through as far as possible the idea that we have of a culture of stability for our currency."

"The euro zone's member states showed yesterday that we have a common political will to do everything for the stability of our common currency," she said. "This is a determined and united message to those who think that they can weaken Europe."

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