• publish: 11 July 2015
  • time: 2:02 pm
  • category: International
  • No: 210

Greek lawmakers back bailout reform plan

Greece’s parliament backed the government’s reform plan containing austerity measures to win a third bailout early Saturday, but with the government suffering significant losses from dissenting lawmakers.

The motion sought to authorize the government to use the proposal as a basis for negotiation with international creditors during the weekend. It passed with 251 votes in favor, 32 against and 8 voting ‘present’, a form of abstention, in the 300-member parliament.

All opposition parties except the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn and the Communist Party voted in favor.

The proposed measures, including tax hikes and cuts in pension spending, are certain to inflict more pain on a Greek public who just days ago voted overwhelmingly against a similar plan.

But the new proposal, if approved by Greece’s international creditors, will provide longer-term financial support for a nation that has endured six years of recession.

Without a deal, Greece faces the immediate prospect of crashing out of Europe’s joint currency, the euro. It would be the first nation to do so.

If the proposal is approved, Greece would get a three-year loan package worth nearly $60 billion (53.5 billion euros) as well as some form of debt relief. That is far more than the 7.2 billion euros left over from Greece’s previous bailout that had been at stake in the country’s five-month negotiations until last month.

Speaking earlier in the debate that began just before midnight Friday, Tsipras acknowledged the reforms his government has proposed were harsh and include measures far from his party’s election pledges, but insisted they were Greece’s best chance to emerge from its financial crisis.

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