German MPs have voted in favour of increasing the country's commitments to the European Financial Stability Facility as part of an expansion of the bailout fund.
The decision, approved by a majority of 523 to 85 with three abstentions, will see Germany's guarantees for the fund rise from €123bn to €211bn. Chancellor Angela Merkel also retained her absolute majority in securing 315 votes from members of her coalition.
The vote had been seen as a key hurdle in the eurozone's attempts to increase the fund's lending capacity from €250bn to €440bn, but markets were relatively unmoved by the decision.
After an initial bounce of 1%, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were trading flat shortly after midday, with the FTSE 100 down 0.75% at 5,179.
Attention has already turned to the possibility of a further expansion of the EFSF, but German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said this morning it was "indecent" to speculate on such measures.
Merkel will nonetheless be forced to return to parliament in the coming months for two further votes on a second bailout for Greece and the creation of a permanent mechanism to succeed the EFSF.
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