German lawmakers approved a hard-won bailout extension for Greece Friday in a move Germany's finance chief called "not easy" but necessary, lifting the last hurdle to keeping a crucial lifeline open to Athens. With worsening Greek economic data With worsening Greek economic data heightening the pressure, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble vigorously urged German MPs to support giving Greece a four-month breathing space despite widespread misgivings. The 72-year-old deeply pro-European minister, who has traded barbs with Athens in recent weeks, said the peoples of Europe were a "community" based on solidarity where those currently better off help those in difficulty. "We, and especially Germany, will have a good future in the 21st century only if European integration remains successful and if we stand united in Europe," he said.
Wall Street stocks fell slightly on the last trading day of February as weak U.S. growth data made investors cautious, while European shares broke multi-year records ahead of the European Central Bank's injection next month of 60 billion euros to spur growth. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.27 percent on Friday after reaching its highest level since November, 2007. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.93 points, or 0.20 percent, at 18,178.49.