Reform bill to go to Parliament Monday with vote by Saturday

Reform bill to go to Parliament Monday with vote by Saturday

A multi-bill containing dozens of economic measures that Greece must legislate in order to unlock further rescue loans is expected to be submitted in Parliament on Monday with a vote expected on Thursday or Saturday.

The deadline set by creditors for approval of the measures is October 15, next Thursday, but government sources indicated that the deadline might be extended until Saturday when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to have returned from a European Union leaders' summit on migration in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Tsipras is said to have asked his ministers to submit details of the measures that fall within their remit swiftly so a multi-bill can be drafted and submitted in Parliament on Monday.

In the meantime, he will seek to overcome any objections within SYRIZA, chairing a central committee meeting on Saturday and Sunday.

With the opposition parties having made it clear, during the three-day debate on the government’s policy program, that they will not support additional austerity measures unconditionally, Tsipras can only hope for the support of the 155 coalition MPs in the 300-member House. But the backing of all of them is far from certain. 

Some MPs had expressed objections to the prospect of the bill being submitted as one article but government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili suggested on Thursday that this would not be the case.

The list of prior actions includes the liberalization of closed professions and markets, the finalization of plans to privatize Greece’s regional airports and measures aimed at curbing tax evasion.

A second list of measures, linked to another loan worth 1 billion euros, will be tougher, with delayed pension reforms and increased farmers’ taxes on the agenda.

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