Greece’s parliament has passed a second raft of reforms required for bailout negotiations to begin.
The bill containing judicial and banking reforms easily passed with the support of 230 lawmakers in the 300 seat chamber.
Before the vote Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged rebels within his own Syriza party to support the reforms:
“Speaking for myself, I do not plan on voluntarily leaving this fort. We will not be cowardly, we will not be the ones to throw down our shields, nor will we be apologists for lost battles. Lost battles are battles that were never fought in the first place, “ Prime Minister Tsipras told parliament.
But 36 out of 149 Syriza deputies still voted against or abstained – a slightly smaller rebellion than last week, but it meant Tsipras had to rely on the opposition to get the bill through.
New Democracy Party interim leader, Evangelos Meimarakis was less than fulsome in his support:
“We are not in favour of the measures, we do not support Syriza’s government, but we support our homeland and so we vote ‘yes’ to secure our country’s place in the euro, we vote ‘yes’ to restore the trust that was lost because of your actions.”
Correspondent Stamatis Giannisis who was in Athens made the following observation:
“After a heated debate that lasted until the early morning hours of Thursday Alexis Tsipras’ coalition government apparently won the battle but not the war as the left wing hard liners of Greece’s Syriza ruling party once again stood their ground opposing the agreement with the country’s lenders.”