Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- German lawmakers are set to back an expansion of the euro-area rescue fund’s firepower as European officials turn to look at what next steps may be needed to stem the debt crisis.
The plan before the lower house in Berlin today would allow the fund to buy bonds of distressed states and offer emergency loans to governments, raising Germany’s guarantees to 211 billion euros ($287 billion) from 123 billion euros. The main opposition Social Democrats and Greens have said they will vote with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, assuring passage.
Lawmakers vote from about 11 a.m. Berlin time as government officials weigh further measures to bolster Greece and stem investor concern that helped end the biggest three-day rally in 16 months for European stocks yesterday. Options include seeking further writedowns on Greek sovereign bonds, adding yet more firepower to the rescue fund and a “plan B” for banks.
“The German parliament is voting for too little, too late,” Fredrik Erixon, head of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, said by phone. “Merkel can’t possibly believe this is the final point in a rescue package that will calm global markets and lead us out of the crisis.”