Greek parliament passes reforms called for by international lenders

18 Jan 18

The Greek parliament has passed a number of reforms called for by international lenders in return for bailout funds.

The draft reforms include a new electronic process for overdue loans and arrears to the state due to repossessions, as prescribed by international lenders as a condition to receive further bailout money.

It also introduced restructures to family benefits and opened up ‘closed professions’. Greece has several ‘closed professions’, including pharmacists and lawyers, which are highly regulated with few people obtaining licences.

The draft bill was passed on Monday while around 20,000 people protested outside parliament, disrupting bus, subway and city rail services as well as some flights as workers went on strike to protest against the reforms.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament prior to the vote: “Today’s vote is pivotal for the country to successfully emerge from bailouts in seven months.”

Following Monday’s vote, the parliament will wait for European finance ministers to access if Greece has done enough to conclude the third review of its current €86bn programme that expires in August.

The ministers are meeting on 22 January.

Concluding the review will give Greece access to about €6.5bn in bailout loans.

Greek civil servants went on strike last year to protest against austerity measures agreed under Greece’s bailout deal, including pensions and tax cuts.

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