By Marcus Leach

German parliament has approved expanded powers for the EU's main bailout fund.

A large majority approved the bill, in what was seen as a test of Chancellor Angela Merkel's authority, given that certain members of her coalition vowed to oppose the bill.

In the end 525 voted in favour of the bill, 85 against and three abstained with nine members not present.

As Europe's largest economy, Germany's commitment to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) would rise from 123 billion euros to 211 billion.

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