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Greece approves €85bn bailout

  • 14/08/2015
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The Greek Parliament has agreed a bailout package with European leaders during difficult all-night talks after the country’s creditors insisted on additional reforms.

The three-year package of fiscal and structural reforms was agreed in exchange for a first aid payment of €23bn.

Out of 149 Syriza MPs, 31 voted against the package, fewer than in two previous votes last month related to the bailout, but the bailout continues to drive deep political divisions in Greece.

The payout allows Greece to make a €3.2bn payment to the European Central Bank, cover loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund and offer fresh capital to Greece’s four largest banks.

Additional reforms to raise the retirement age for public sector workers and lift restrictions on bank foreclosures on low-income homeowners were agreed at the last minute under pressure from the EU rescue fund.

Before the debate, legislators sat through nine hours of talks on procedure highlighting a deepening feud between senior officials in the leftwing Syriza government and Zoi Konstantopoulou, the combative speaker of parliament, who is a vocal opponent of the bailout deal.

Konstantopoulou eventually allowed the debate to go ahead under emergency procedures so that the package could be offered for discussion at Friday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

The win will be costly for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with a third of his own party voting against the bailout, which many see as a betrayal of his election pledges to reverse austerity.

Tsipras is expected to seek a vote of confidence next week, bringing the prospect of a snap election in the Autumn closer.

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