New bailout vote to test Syriza support for Greek PM
Just hours before a crucial vote on planned reforms takes place in the parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hit out at his critics

Just hours before a crucial vote on reforms takes place in the parliament late Wednesday night, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hit out at his critics, some of whom belong to his own Syriza party, saying that none of them have suggested any alternatives.

The debate on the vote has begun in the Greek parliament.

Although the second bill is almost certain to be passed, it will test how much support the Syriza-led government has left in the Greek parliament. Last week, the first bill containing measures on tax hikes was passed with the support of pro-eurozone opposition parties while triggering a rebellion within Tsipras own Syriza party.

Tsipras said Tuesday that the government would continue its focus on negotiations for a new bailout loan agreement.

He asked his critics to give him alternatives. "Up to now I have seen reactions, I have read heroic statements but I have heard no alternative proposal to the extortionist dilemma of July 12. If some believe that the alternative leftist plan is the Schaeuble Plan, the seizure of the European Central Bank (ECB) stock of banknotes or to hand out IOUs to pensioners instead of pensions, let them come forward and explain this to the Greek people,” Tsipras said.

He also said that those disagreeing with him should "not to hide behind the security of my signature" and added that he was fully aware that he had "assumed responsibility for a difficult compromise...but one that keeps us alive to carry on fighting".

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos called on the parliament to back the reforms so that new bailout talks could begin as soon as possible. "It's extremely important to wrap up this prior actions procedure so that we can start negotiations on Friday," Tsakalotos told lawmakers Wednesday.

The voting on the second bill is scheduled to take place late Wednesday night after the debate. It will cover rules for dealing with failed banks. The bill needs to be passed in order for the Greek government to secure an agreement for assistance from the European Stability Mechanism.

It is almost certain that the bill will pass despite the fact that 39 deputies did not vote in favor of the bill or abstained last week.

Tsipras together with his junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) has 162 seats in the 300 seat parliament. His support however will be limited to 123; excluding the 39 parliamentarians from last week’s vote.

Last Modified: 2015-07-23 07:07:47
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