Greece approves bailout terms after tense debate

Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras.

THE Greek parliament voted on Friday morning (August 14) to accept the terms of the new bailout following an all-night debate. 

The ruling Syriza party was split over the deal, with Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras pushing for approval of the terms, which include harsh spending cuts and privatisations, while former finance minister Yannis Varoufakis was amongst those MPs voting against. The division left Tsipras reliant on opposition parties to secure the vote.

The package is a loan of €85 billion, tied to tough austerity measures. Tsipras called the terms a “necessary choice,” but one which must be taken to bring a halt to a “crisis without end.”

Former Syriza energy minister Panayiotis Lafazanis called for a vote against the measures, and insisted that she and others on the left of the party, with about a quarter of their 149 MPs voting against the deal, would continue fighting to “smash the eurozone dictatorship.”

The deal must now be approved by eurozone leaders, and some EU national parliaments will also vote on it, most notably Germany, where there remains strong opposition to any new bailout, regardless of the terms.

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