MPs to vote on bill revoking extension of payment plan for debtors

Greek MPs are to vote at noon on Friday on a revised bill revoking the extension of a payment scheme foreseeing up to 100 installments for debtors to include property tax and income tax installments.

The vote is to be carried out by roll call following a request by leftist SYRIZA following a vehement debate about the climbdown by the government, which had hailed the extension of the scheme but was then forced to revoke it following objections by the troika.

At least two MPs of junior coalition partner PASOK — Apostolos Kaklamanis and Michalis Kassis — have said they will vote against the new legislation with other coalition lawmakers saying they will back the government line despite their reservations. One ND MP, Giorgos Vlachos, condemned Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis for the gaffe and said someone should take political responsibility for it.

There will also be a roll call vote in Parliament on Friday for a separate bill regarding facilitation for non-performing corporate loans. This vote will be held by roll call following a request by New Democracy and PASOK, which want to put SYRIZA on the spot after its MPs said they would vote down the reform.

The bill on the payment scheme is the most significant for the government to clinch following its concession to the troika. The new bill exempting from the scheme all debts that expired after October 1. Practically, this means the four final installments of a unified property tax and the final tranches of income tax dues cannot be included in the scheme. The vote on the new bill had been slated for next Tuesday but, in a bid to show the troika it is addressing their concerns, Greek officials brought it forward. The troika is said to have objected to the extension of the payment scheme amid fears that it would increase Greece’s fiscal gap for next year by around 1 billion euros.

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