Greek parliament passed a bill to implement EU mandated austerity measures

Jul 17, 2015 11:05 IST

Hellenic Parliament of Greece on 16 July 2015 gave its nod to the European Union mandated austerity related legislative measures, thus, paving the way for Greece to tap into EU bailout funds.

Out of total 300 strength of the unicameral legislature, the legislation was approved with 229 votes in favour, 64 against and six abstentions and won the support of three pro-European opposition parties.

The EU Summit on 12 July 2015 gave in principle approval to a bailout package worth between 82- 86 billion euro to Greece subject to approval of following legislative measures by the Greece Parliament.

• Streamlining of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system and the broadening of the tax base to increase revenue
• Upfront measures to improve long-term sustainability of the pension system as part of a comprehensive pension reform programme
• Safeguarding of the full legal independence of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)
• Full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union
• Introducing quasi-automatic spending cuts in case of deviations from ambitious primary surplus targets after seeking advice from the Fiscal Council and subject to prior approval of the lending institutions

The approval of legislation by the Parliament gives much needed relief to Greece as people have been reeling under severe capital controls as their ATM withdrawals limited to 60 euro per day and banks and the stock exchange shut since 29 June 2015.

Further, Greece will be able to access 7 billion euro bridge loans from a special fund by the EU in order to meet its 20 July 2015 deadline to pay 4.2 billion euro to the European Central Bank (ECB).

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