Multi-bill of reforms approved by parliamentary committee

Multi-bill of reforms approved by parliamentary committee

A multi-bill bundling together a series of reforms that Greece must legislate to unlock further rescue loans was approved by a parliamentary committee on Friday ahead of a plenary session vote on Sunday.

The bill, which details a slew of new tax increases, a new privatization fund, and a contingency mechanism that would automatically cut state spending if Greece misses budget targets, was backed by leftist SYRIZA and rightwing Independent Greeks who form the governing coalition.

It was opposed by opposition New Democracy as well as PASOK, the Communist Party, Potami, Union of Centrists and Golden Dawn.

On Saturday the bill is to go to Parliament's plenary session ahead of a vote scheduled for Sunday.

During the committee-level debate on Friday there was some tension with prominent ND MP Adonis Georgiadis lashing out at the leftist-led coalition for its plan to privatize several state utilities despite the two parties' earlier opposition to selloffs.

Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis defended the new privatization fund, noting that proceeds would not go exclusively to paying off Greece's debt but to boosting growth as well. 

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