Merkel presses opposition to pass EU fiscal pact
(BERLIN) - A day after Irish voters backed a European Union fiscal pact, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called on her political opponents to do the same so Germany too could ratify the measure.
In a speech to her party members, Merkel welcomed the Irish referendum result and said Germany should adopt the fiscal pact before summer holidays.
The pact, agreed to by 25 of 27 European Union members, is designed to shore up the turmoil-hit eurozone by penalising countries that fail to keep their deficits in check. Only countries that ratify the pact will have guaranteed access to the EU's new permanent bailout fund.
Merkel needs a two-thirds majority in Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, to adopt the text. This means she must at least persuade the Social Democratic Party to vote "yes".
"It's vital we get there because the situation in the eurozone is once again very fragile," Merkel said.
More than 60 percent of voters approved the pact in Ireland, the only country to put the matter to a referendum.
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