Greece to Vote on Second Bailout Bill in Test for Tsipras Wednesday

Greece to Vote on Second Bailout Bill in Test for Tsipras Wednesday
Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:21:16

On Wednesday, the Greek parliament will vote on the second bill of reforms, required for Greece to unlock the new multi-billion aid package from its international creditors, Alalam News Network Reports.

According to the Greek Ekathimerini newspaper, the Greek government submitted the legislation to Parliament on Tuesday morning.

On July 13, the leaders of the Eurozone countries agreed a new bailout plan that would allow Greece remain in the currency bloc and receive financial aid of up to $96 billion over the next three years in exchange for the implementation of strict austerity measures, Sputnik reported.

The measures Athens agreed to implement include tax increases, changes to VAT rates, pension reforms, ensuring the complete independence of the Greek statistical authority, ELSTAT, and adhering to the provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.

All these measures, apart from the extremely unpopular pension reforms, which was postponed following an agreement with creditors, were approved by the Greek parliament on July 15, according to Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili.

The Greek government will try to finalize the agreement with creditors before August 20, beginning talks immediately after the parliament ratifies the reform package.

On Wednesday, the Greek parliament will be voting on the two outstanding issues. The first is introducing changes to the Code of Civil Procedure that would allow for the speeding up of court processes and help to reduce their costs. The second is the transposition of the European Union’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), which aims to limit the use of taxpayers' money in bailing out failing banks, into national law.

On Tuesday, government spokeswoman Gerovasili told journalists that the country’s authorities would start negotiations with lenders right after the second bill is approved by Parliament. The final agreement is expected to be reached before August 20.

Gerovasili stressed that, despite information in the media, higher taxation rates for farmers is not among the reforms required to be approved before the final negotiations can begin.

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