Wednesday

14th Apr 2021

Tsipras survives second EU bailout rebellion

  • Greek MPs moved a step closer to an €86bn EU bailout after backing laws on banking and judicial reform (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras faced down a second rebellion from his governing Syriza party on Thursday (23 July), moving the country another step closer to obtaining an €86 billion EU bailout.

After another parliamentary sitting which went on into the small hours of the morning, deputies passed the second tranche of laws - this time on banking and judicial reform - needed to open formal bailout talks, by 230 to 63.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Thirty six Syriza deputies either voted against the government or abstained, three fewer than the previous week, when the first series of austerity measures were adopted.

The left-wing Syriza party has 162 members out of 300 in the Greek parliament, and needs to retain the support of at least 120, the minimum required to sustain a minority government.

The centrist opposition parties also voted with the government.

Ahead of the vote, Tsipras turned up the heat on his own party, accusing Syriza rebels of "hiding behind the safety of my signature" and of failing to come up with an alternative plan.

“We have made difficult choices and now we must adapt to the new situation”, he said.

The legislation adopted on Wednesday night (22 July) includes an EU directive to bolster banks and protect savers' deposits of less than €100,000.

The bank recovery and resolution directive also sets outs a broader framework under which bank shareholders and creditors would cover the costs of a failed bank.

Greek deputies also passed a Code of Civil Procedure, which the 12 July euro-summit statement said will "accelerate the judicial process and reduce costs".

Passing the measures had been demanded by Greece’s creditors as a precondition for opening talks on a third rescue programme, worth €86 billion over three years.

For his part, Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, voted with the government, despite having joined the rebels in opposing the bailout package last week.

Legislation to phase out early retirement schemes and the removal of subsidies for farmers, which had initially be scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, are set be adopted in the next package, due in the first week of August.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Central Bank's (ECB's) governing council agreed to raise the cap on emergency assistance for the country’s fragile banking system by €900 million to €90.4 billion.

The move eases pressure on Greek lenders, which re-opened for business this week after a three-week lock-out. However, citizens can still only withdraw a maximum of €420 per week.

With the reforms moving ahead, EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici told reporters on Wednesday that an agreement on Greece’s third bailout could be struck "in the second fortnight of August”.

Greece to vote on second set of reforms

The Greek government has submitted new reforms on banks and the justice system to parliament, ahead of a vote Wednesday, as required by creditors.

How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime

The recession set to hit Europe after the pandemic will help organised crime penetrate legitimate business and recruit out-of-work specialists, the EU's joint police agency, Europol, has warned.

China responds to 'low-efficacy' vaccine fears

Concern over the low efficiency of Chinese-made vaccines has been mounting since China's top official said existing vaccines offer low protection against Covid-19 - raising questions for those nations relying heavily on the Chinese jabs. That includes Hungary and Serbia.

News in Brief

  1. US officials call for J&J vaccine pause over blood clots
  2. Putin refuses to talk about military build-up, Ukraine says
  3. EU bank to help Greece manage corona-recovery funds
  4. Johnson & Johnson vaccine deliveries to EU begin
  5. EU sanctions commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard
  6. UK opens investigation into ex-PM Cameron lobbying
  7. 'Significant differences' in EU-UK talks on Northern Ireland
  8. Bulgarian PM reveals price rise in new EU-BioNTech deal

How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime

The recession set to hit Europe after the pandemic will help organised crime penetrate legitimate business and recruit out-of-work specialists, the EU's joint police agency, Europol, has warned.

Podcast

Why Ursula von der Leyen won't go

Ursula von der Leyen appears secure in her job as president of the European Commission. That's despite a troubled vaccine rollout in which delayed deliveries can cost lives and livelihoods.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime
  2. China responds to 'low-efficacy' vaccine fears
  3. Merkel party chiefs support Laschet's chancellor bid
  4. EU refuses to bail out Montenegro's China loan
  5. Industry lobby to 'co-decide' on nearly €10bn EU public money
  6. Why Ursula von der Leyen won't go
  7. Incorporating gender in trade policy to benefit all
  8. Does Italian regionalism actually work?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us