Merkel faces difficult Greek vote in parliament
By Erik Kirschbaum
BERLIN (Reuters) - The German parliament will almost certainly vote to endorse a new Greek bailout package on Monday, but Chancellor Angela Merkel may be forced to rely on opposition support to overcome a determined band of rebels in her coalition.
At least a dozen members of parliament in Merkel's center-right coalition said they would vote against the 130 billion-euro ($175 billion) rescue package. If the number of rebels rises to at least 20, the measure will pass only with opposition support.
That would be a humiliating defeat for Merkel, which analysts and opposition leaders said would raise doubts over whether her coalition can survive.
Merkel's allies are confident they have enough votes for a majority. The opposition Social Democrats and Greens will vote for it.
Merkel is due to lead the debate in parliament starting at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) Monday, with the vote scheduled for later in the day.
Merkel needs 311 votes to reach a majority in the 620-member parliament. Her government commands 330 seats.
However, in a September 27 vote, 15 deputies in her coalition broke ranks, leaving the governing coalition with the narrow majority of 315 seats on that occasion.
GERMANS LOSING PATIENCE Continued...