Greek parliament backs bailout proposal

Greek parliament passes motion supporting bailout proposal with harsh austerity measures submitted by PM Alexis Tsipras to creditors

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Greek parliament passes measures early on Saturday to back structural reforms included in the proposal submitted by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the country’s international creditors in hopes of getting €53.5 billion ($59.2 billion) in a three-year bailout loan.

Several members of the governing Syriza party, including speaker of the parliament, the energy minister, a former minister and a deputy minister, abstained from the vote, showing their disapproval of the proposal, yet the motion passed with the support of the opposition parties.

Tsipras came under fire from several factions of his socialist Syriza party following submission of the proposal as it meant Greece accepting harsh austerity measures it rejected in a referendum less than a week ago.

"Syriza's platform was not about staying in the euro at any cost,” said Yannis Kourtakis (41) a supporter of Syriza's hard-line Red Network faction.

“This new deal they are cooking up has no prospect for growth, the austerity will humiliate us," he added.

Speaking at the parliament ahead of the vote, Tsipras endorsed the plan saying “For the first time, we have on the table a substantial discussion for a debt restructuring.”

Terms of the 13-page document titled “Greece: Prior Actions - Policy Commitments and Actions to be taken in consultation with the EC/ECB/IMF staff” submitted by the Greek government on Thursday were almost the same with the ones in creditors’ proposal from June 26 which Greek people voted “no” with 61 percent in a referendum on July 5.

The latest offer included defence spending cuts, a firm timetable for privatising state assets such as Piraeus port and regional airports, hikes in value added tax (VAT) for hotels and restaurants and slashing a top-up payment for poorer pensioners aimed at creating about €13 billion funds for the government.

New offer raises Greece’s chances of a bailout package, following a European Union summit to be held on Sunday in Brussels.

The EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had a positive assessment of the Greek proposal, according to unnamed officials cited by Reuters and AFP.

The evaluation came after the so-called troika creditors - European Commision, European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF - studied the Greek proposal on Friday.

TRTWorld and agencies