Friday

16th Nov 2018

Greek MPs recalled from holidays for bailout vote

  • Tsipras is likely to face an even bigger rebellion inside his Syriza party this time round (Photo: Αλέξης Τσίπρας Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας)

The Greek parliament is expected to vote on Thursday evening (13 August) on a series of reforms, including tax hikes, which are likely to stoke a left-wing rebellion against prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

The reforms constitute the prior actions required by Greece's creditors - the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - before new bailout money can start being disbursed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The bailout deal will also need to be endorsed by the Eurogroup on Friday and ratified by eurozone countries.

Greek MPs have been called back from their summer holiday for a vote according to a fast-track procedure.

Discussions started at committee level on Thursday morning and will be followed by a plenary debate in the evening. Voting should take place late in the night, as was the case in previous votes in July.

Reforms

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed by the Greek government on Tuesday details what is expected from the Greek government over the next three years.

The reduced VAT rate for islands are to be abolished in several steps by the end of 2016 and the VAT system is to be streamlined.

Taxes on fuel for farmers is to be raised from €66 per 1,000 litres to €200 from October.

Early retirement will be phased out, with the retirement age to be set at 67 years in 2022 at the latest.

A previous pension reform voted in 2010 at the creditors' request are to be implemented and measures introduced by Tsipras’ government earlier this year are to be repealed.

The price of off-patent drugs and generic medicine is be cut to 50 percent and 32.5 percent, respectively, of the patent price.

Measures on healthcare introduced by the left-wing government have to be taken back.

The government is required to launch a strategy to address the issue of non-performing loans - loans which are not being repaid to Greek banks.

The list of prior actions also includes implementation of an already-agreed privatisation programme and gas market reform.

Opposition

Tsipras said on Wednesday the bailout deal “will put a final end to economic uncertainty".

But the Greek PM is facing strong opposition from the left wing of his Syriza party.

He was voted into power in January on an anti-austerity ticket and he called a referendum, in July, on creditors’ demands in which Greeks voted No.

In July, 39 Syriza MPs already voted against the first set of prior actions and 36 MPs voted against the second set.

Rebels could be more numerous on Thursday, casting a shadow over the future of the Syriza-led coalition government.

A vote in support of the creditor's demands would trigger an “immediate divorce”, Costas Isichos, a former Tsipras government minister, warned.

Greek deal puts Tsipras in straitjacket

The 29-page document agreed with Greece's creditors outlines wide-ranging reforms of the Greek economy and administration with tight deadlines and fiscal targets.

Merkel 'skeptical' about Greek bailout deal

Germany is still casting doubts on its readiness to endorse the agreement reached by Greece and the creditors and might try to get more concessions from Athens.

Deal reached on new Greek bailout

The Greek government says it has agreed terms with creditors on a third aid programme. But questions remain over the amount of the bailout and IMF participation.

Merkel urges Bundestag to back Greek bailout

Merkel has urged MPs to back the Greek bailout deal in a Bundestag vote on Wednesday, while saying the migrant crisis will be Europe's next big challenge.

Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline

Italy would be committing economic "suicide" if it fell in line with EU rules, its deputy leader has said, in a sign that Rome has little intention of bowing to pressure ahead of Tuesday's budget deadline.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  2. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  3. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  4. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  5. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  6. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  7. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot
  8. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us