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German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces crucial vote

Update 10:46 a.m. ET: The vote passed.

Reuters reports from BERLIN:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a critical challenge to her authority on Thursday when some of her coalition, worried about throwing good money after bad by bailing out Greece, could humiliate her in a vote on euro-zone rescue plans.

Support from the center-left opposition will ensure Germany passes the bill on new powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which some countries like Finland have ratified but others, including Slovakia, are disputing.

But if dissent in her coalition forces Merkel to rely on opposition votes to pass the new powers for the 440 billion euro ($600 billion) rescue fund, it would be politically damaging for the conservative chancellor and undermine her ability to pilot fresh measures to combat the euro zone debt crisis. Continue reading.