Greece’s parliament is to vote on a second package of measures demanded by international lenders to open talks on a new bailout deal.
It follows last week’s vote on a mix of economic reforms which was passed, but a revolt by 39 Syriza lawmakers raised questions over the government’s stability.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras needs to avoid a second significant rebellion from within the ranks of Syriza. Last week’s vote reduced his support within his own ruling coalition to just 123, barely more than the minimum 120 required to sustain a minority government.
However todays bill is expected to go through with opposition support.
“What we are called upon to do is implement a difficult deal, a deal that was forced upon us, which will have negative effects on the majority of society,” complained Panos Skourletis, Minister for the Environment and Energy
bailout in doses
Newspaper headlines talk of “a bailout in doeses”. Not included in this second package are pension reforms curbing early retirement or a tax rise on farmers . They will come later.
Director of sovereign risk at IHS Global Insight, Jan Randolph gave the following warning:
“The reforms, the structural reforms, there will be resistance outside parliament. And the state itself may be foot dragging the bureaucracy,because their heart is not in it and nor is really the government. And that’s the problem. You’re forcing someone who doesn’t really want to do this and it could regress and lapse.”
Greece’s public sector union has called for a protest outside parliament while the bill is being debated.It remains to be seen how many will turn out for the rally.
Following last week’s vote, European authorities released billions of euros in emergency funding to allow Athens to meet debt deadlines and reopen banks.