Greek parliament to vote on second raft of bailout measures

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Flickr, Kirk Siang

THE Greek parliament votes on Wednesday (July 22) for a second time on the terms of its new bailout. Further reforms must be approved if the country is to progress on negotiations for a €86 billion loan, according to the conditions set by its creditors.
A vote on July 16 on the first set of tough austerity measures, including €12 billion cuts from public spending, was agreed by the parliament, but caused a split in the left-wing governing party Syriza.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged his members to get behind the deal, but 32 of the party’s 149 MPs, including the former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, voted against.
The second vote will address structural changes, including the provision to protect bank deposits of less than €100,000, and is expected to pass with the support of other parties. Further, more contentious measures, including cuts to pensions, will be voted on in August.
Tsipras has told his parliamentary group the measures are their only option to stay in the euro, which is what he is convinced the people of Greece want.
“Up until today I’ve seen reactions, I’ve read heroic statements but I haven’t heard any alternative proposal,” Tsipras told Syriza MPs on Tuesday, according to Reuters news agency.
“Syriza as a party must reflect society, must welcome the worries and expectations of tens of thousands of ordinary people who have pinned their hopes on it,” he is reported to have said.
Last week’s vote was accompanied by a public sector strike and demonstrations which began peacefully but later erupted into clashes with police. The second vote, to take place on Wednesday evening, will also see protests outside the parliament called by trade unions.

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