MPs approve mobilization amendment, but Samaras warns two ND deputies

Parliament on Thursday passed an amendment demanded by the troika to release further bailout funding but two New Democracy MPs failed to support the measure, forcing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to warn his lawmakers that they would be ousted if they do not back crucial legislation in the future.

The amendment lifted restrictions on civil servants who have postgraduate degrees being included in a labor mobility scheme. The exemption meant Greece could not meet its target of putting 4,200 public sector employees in the program this month, which held up the release of 2.5 billion euros in loans.

However, New Democracy’s Nikitas Kaklamanis and Dimitris Kyriazidis only voted “present” during the ballot, reducing the government’s parliamentary majority. The ND-PASOK coalition has 155 MPs in the 300-seat Parliament but the House is currently in its summer session, meaning that only a third of lawmakers are present. This brings the government’s majority down to just two.

This prompted Samaras to call ND’s parliamentary group secretary, Thanasis Bouras, after the vote and ask him to tell MPs that if in future they fail to support a bill relating to “prior actions” demanded by the troika, they will be expelled from the party.

Kathimerini understands that 2,114 of the civil servants that will be moved from their jobs will be educators.

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