MPs clamor to air grievances ahead of multi-bill vote

A lively debate on a multi-bill of economic reforms that the government must pass to secure further crucial rescue loans was expected to continue until late on Wednesday after more than 100 of Parliament’s 300 deputies asked to address the House ahead of a vote on the bill.

It remained unclear late Tuesday whether the political opposition would ask for the crucial vote to be carried out by roll call instead of by a more traditional, and briefer, system where rapporteurs state the vote of each party.

The objections of the main left-wing opposition SYRIZA were in evidence on Tuesday on the streets of the capital as a large group of lawmakers including outspoken MP Panagiotis Lafazanis, who heads the Aristeri Platforma (Left Platform), joined an anti-austerity protest called by labor unions to coincide with a general strike.

The deputies bore slogans saying “no to layoffs in the private and public sector.” SYRIZA’s press office issued a statement saying that the government’s multi-bill would bring “social demolition, layoffs, the lowering of the minimum wage and the destruction of the health and education sectors.”

A statement released by Democratic Left, which quit the government last month, echoed SYRIZA’s opposition to layoffs in both the private and public sectors, fueling rumors that the party is shifting toward SYRIZA on the political spectrum.

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