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Merkel battles to pass bailout

Chancellor Angela Merkel has delivered one of the most passionate speeches of her career in an attempt to persuade Germany and its parliamentarians that it was essential to prop up Greece.

Shrugging off catcalls and angry interruptions from the opposition benches, the German leader told her parliament: "This is about nothing less than the future of Europe -- and with it the future of Germany in Europe."

The Merkel Cabinet has approved a €22.4bn package to Greece. The enabling Bill will be voted on tomorrow.

The signs are that she will get her Bill and Merkel added: "We are at a crossroads. There is no alternative. Europe is looking to Germany."