BERLIN – German lawmakers approved their country’s share of a $1 trillion euro-region bailout Friday, allaying market concern that they would balk at approving a second emergency aid package in as many weeks.

The lower house of parliament voted 319-73 in favor of contributing as much as $184 billion to indebted European states to backstop the euro; 195 lawmakers abstained. The upper house, or Bundesrat, also passed the measure, sending it on to President Horst Koehler for his signature.

“Every other alternative is much worse and much more dangerous, so we have to do this,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the lower house, or Bundestag, before the vote. “We’re not doing this for others, we’re doing it for ourselves and for future generations.”

Two weeks ago, lawmakers backed loans for Greece, a decision Chancellor Angela Merkel cited for an election setback two days later in Germany’s most populous state.

She has since stepped up her calls for regulation to stem Europe’s debt crisis and forbid some types of short-selling this week, unsettling markets and depressing the euro.

The day the trading curbs took effect, the euro sank to its lowest since 2006. The single currency has lost 13 percent against the dollar this year.

“We shouldn’t be too relieved,” Marco Annunziata, chief economist at UniCredit, said from London. “The markets have moved to other concerns. Those concerns seem to be centered on the uncoordinated, disjointed momentum toward new regulation,” sparked by the German short-selling ban.

The crisis is taking a toll on Merkel’s popularity, which has declined as Germans expressed concern about the economy, according to an FG Wahlen poll released Friday.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber urged German lawmakers Wednesday. Rejection would trigger “dramatic” market developments, Weber said.


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