Greece’s parliament has approved a new batch of reforms needed to secure talks on a possible €86bn bailout package. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras headed off a revolt by rebels in his Syriza party to win parliament’s backing for a second package of reforms. The bill passed with the support of 230 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament thanks to the backing of pro-euro opposition parties.
But 36 out of 149 deputies from his own party voted against the overall bill or abstained. The reforms include civil justice reforms, measures to prop up the liquidity of the banks and a bank deposit protection scheme and were needed to start negotiations with creditors on a third bailout worth around €86bn.If they had not been passed, the bailout would have been at risk and doubt raised again over the country’s future in the euro.
Mr Tsipras had told parliament the reforms were a necessary price to pay, adding: “We have chosen a compromise that forces us to implement a program in which we do not believe, and we will implement it because the alternatives are tough.” Before the debate around 10,000 people protested outside parliament against the measures.A few protesters threw petrol bombs at police but no injuries or arrests were reported.
Now Greece hopes new bailout talks can be finished before 20 August, which is when the country must repay a debt of more than €3bn to the European Central Bank, which has twice injected new funds into the banking system this week, Sky News reports.