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Greek Parliament Passes Crucial Bailout Reforms


The Greek parliament voted to approve a second set of crucial reforms last night in order to take another step towards securing an €86bn bailout from their European creditors.

The debate over whether to accept reforms has divided opinion in Greece, with last nights parliamentary debate lasting until 04:00am (local time).

Thousands of protestors demonstrated outside parliament while the debate took place, and at one point the protestors turned violent. However, the demonstrators were soon quelled and brought under control and the rest of the protest was largely peaceful.

Last week, a set of reforms were passed by the Greek government to cut spending and increase taxes, therefore imposing austerity on Greek citizens.

This vote however, was in regards to passing measures that would protect savers deposits and ensure that the costs of a failed bank would be covered by shareholders and creditors of the bank, rather than the taxpayer.

Before the vote, there were fears that a rebellion from within the Syriza led Greek government would turn down the proposals.

However, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras had no problems in the end as the reforms were passed with an overwhelming majority. The final vote count was:

- 230 MPs voted in favour of reform
- 63 MPs voted against the changes
- 5 MPs abstained from the vote

This was a much easier victory than the first set of reforms that were passed last week, as several MPs who voted against the first set of reforms returned to vote in favour for this set.

One such rebel MP was the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who stated: "We chose a difficult compromise to avert the most extreme plans by the most extreme circles in Europe."

Negotiations between the Greek ministers and representatives of their European creditors will now begin as early as Friday.

Greece is no longer in arrears to their creditors, as a short term loan recently allowed them to make their debt repayments. However, their next major deadline is later next month on 20 August, when they will be requited to pay the European Central Bank (ECB) €3.2bn.

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