Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Greek parliament to vote on new bailout deal

Published:Wednesday | August 12, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Greece has agreed on the broad terms of a new three-year bailout package with international creditors, with a few last details expected to be ironed out Tuesday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for an emergency session of parliament to vote on the new bailout deal late Thursday.

Tsipras requested an end to the summer recess to allow for the two-day procedure.

Greece is hoping to have the deal approved before a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Friday. But Tsipras is facing mounting dissent within his left-wing Syriza party and will require support from opposition parties to pass the measures.

Finalising quickly the deal for about €85 billion (US$93 billion) in new loans would prevent the country from defaulting on its debts next week and secure its future in the Eurozone.

Cash-strapped Greece needs more money by August 20 at the latest, when it has a debt repayment of just over €3 billion to make to the European Central Bank.

A draft of the agreement cited by the Greek daily Kathimerini said the deal included a package of more than 30 measures that would have to be voted on in Greece's parliament immediately, followed by a second package of measures to be adopted from October onwards.

The government released some technical details of the deal, saying it had agreed to have a 0.25 per cent government deficit this year and a 0.5 per cent surplus next year, when not counting the cost of servicing debt.

Greece has agreed to achieving so-called primary surpluses of 1.75 per cent in 2017 and 3.5 per cent in 2018, the government said in an emailed note.

The pledges mean the country has avoided having to impose budget savings worth about €20 billion, it said.

"This practically means that with the current agreement there will be no fiscal burden - in other words, new measures - in the immediate future," the note read.

Banks will be strengthened with new cash infusions by the end of the year and will have an immediate boost of "at least €10 billion," it said. The government insists this means there is no longer any danger that the banks may have to raid bank deposits to restore their financial health.

The government also said that banks will not make repossessions and auctions of primary residences within 2015.

The deal is opposed by many in the governing Syriza party, who say the spending cuts go against the government's pledges when it was elected in January.

- AP