Germany's Parliament is interrupting its summer break to vote Thursday on a rescue package worth up to €100 billion ($NZ 153 billion) for Spain's ailing banks.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she's optimistic of securing a broad majority for the bailout at the special session. As much as €30 billion ($NZ 46 billion) could flow to Spain's banks by the end of the month from the eurozone's rescue fund.
Germany's Parliament has to endorse all decisions to use money from the fund. The country is Europe's biggest economy and is the biggest single contributor to the bailout fund; it will guarantee loans to the tune of up to €29 billion ($NZ 44 billion) under the Spanish package.
Bailing out struggling eurozone nations isn't popular in prosperous Germany and helping banks is even less so, but officials argue that stabilizing Spain's banking sector - which has been hit hard by a burst real-estate bubble - is in the country's own interests.
Steffen Kampeter, a deputy finance minister, pointed to the sharp recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis and the increase in government debt, prompted by stimulus programs, that followed.
"We tried once, with Lehman Brothers, letting a system-relevant financial institute go bust - the result was the economy shrinking in Germany," Kampeter said on ARD television.
Helping Spain's banks is "above all in the interest of Europe's financial market stability and so also in the interest of jobs in Germany," he said.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has dismissed concerns that Spain's government may itself need a bailout on top of the bank rescue. Those worries have been fueled by persistently high borrowing rates for Spain in bond markets.
Parliament is meeting in a special session because lawmakers' summer break started at the end of June and they weren't scheduled to reconvene until Sept. 11. Merkel said Wednesday that there are no indications they will have to interrupt their break again to discuss eurozone rescues.