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Greek parliament approves third bailout deal

14 August 2015 11:22



The Greek parliament endorses the country’s third bailout package after an all-night debate.

The vote was held early on Friday, when a majority of Greek lawmakers approved the EUR 85 billion (USD 93 billion) rescue package, which the country direly needs to avoid defaulting on its debts and remain in the euro zone.

A majority of 222 MPs approved the 400-page document while 64 voted against and 11 abstained.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had earlier urged the legislature to approve the deal “to assure the country’s ability to survive and keep on fighting.”

He told the legislators that the bailout fund was needed so Athens can avoid receiving a bridge loan, which he described as a return to a “crisis without end.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras checks his watch as he stands at the podium during an overnight parliamentary debate in Athens on August 14, 2015. (AFP Photo)


The approval, however, came at the cost of the political credibility for Tsipras within his radical left Syriza party, where he faced intense criticism for capitulating to creditor demands to introduce the austerity measures required before the country can receive the bailout. The discord is threatening to split his party and could lead to early elections.

Greece received two bailouts in 2010 and 2012 worth a total of EUR 240 billion (USD 272 billion) from its troika of international lenders – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – following economic crisis in 2009.

On Tuesday, Athens agreed to a deal with the lenders to receive the bailout.

The deal will also need approval from the parliaments of several other countries, including that of Greece’s harshest critic, Germany, before any funds can be disbursed. Some nations, such as Finland, have already given their approval.

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