Greek MPs Back Eurozone Deal Laws Amidst Protests
Greek MPs have approved tough economic measures required to enable an €86bn Eurozone bailout deal to go ahead.
The legislation includes the abolition of the VAT discount of 30% for Greek islands, a corporation tax rise from 26% to 29% for small companies, a luxury tax rise on big cars, boats and swimming pools, and an end to early retirement by 2022 with a retirement age increase to 67.
A total of 229 MPs voted Yes, 64 voted No and six abstained. Half of the No votes came from the governing Syriza party.
Ahead of the vote, protesters threw petrol bombs at police during an anti-austerity protest close to parliament, and police responded with tear gas, while the metro shut down at peak time and suburban trains did not run for 24 hours.
Prime minister Alexis Tsipras had said he did not believe in the deal, but nonetheless urged MPs to approve the measures.
While the legislation was passed with a comfortable majority, this did not happen without a major rebellion within the government: 38 of the prime minister’s MPs refused to back the deal, with the speaker of parliament calling it “social genocide”.
Meanwhile, Greece’s short-term cash problem still remains to be solved with banks still closed.