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Greece adopts more painful reforms demanded by creditors

17 october 2015, 14:38
0

Greece's parliament on Friday narrowly adopted further reforms demanded by the country's international creditors in return for further bailout funds, AFP reports.

A majority of 154 lawmakers, out of a total of 300 deputies in the single-chamber parliament, backed the sweeping bill, which provides for further tax hikes and pension cuts.

The entire opposition, from the far left communists to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party voted against the legislation as a whole, even though some of their members had approved specific articles.

The vote was only narrowly carried by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's leftist Syriza party and its coalition partner, the nationalist Independent Greeks (Anel), after a stormy debate.

Conservative leader Vangelis Meimarakis accused the government of clobbering the country with taxes that he said would prolong a recession.

Tsipras retorted that the reforms were "not new".

"You already knew them when you voted in favour of the July 13 (debt) accord" with the European Union, he replied.

The deal committed Athens to more tax hikes and public spending cuts in return for a three-year, 86-billion-euro ($96-billion) EU bailout -- its third since 2010 -- which prevented it crashing out of the eurozone.

Tsipras, who came to power in January on an anti-austerity platform but later relented to creditors' demands for further belt-tightening, has argued that the quickest way for Greece to win back control over its finances is to implement the terms of the rescue deal.

Several thousand people demonstrated Friday evening in central Athens against the adoption of the bill.

The EU and IMF had made the payment of another tranche of loans worth 2 million euros conditional on its adoption.


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