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The Greek parliament adopted the first package of tax raising measures

17 October 2015 / 16:10:33  GRReporter
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Shortly after 1:00 today, with 154 votes "for" the parliament passed the bill entitled, "Measures for the implementation of the agreement on financial targets and structural reforms." This will release the tranche of €2 billion, based on the 12 July agreement on the third rescue package.

294 MPs took part in the voting. SYRIZA's and Independent Greeks' MPs supported all clauses of the bill. Nikos Nikolopoulos from Independent Greeks was the only one who voted for the package, but against its Articles 1, 2, 5, 10, 13 and 21. New Democracy MPs voted against, except for Article 14. Golden Dawn, the Communist Party and the Union of Centrists voted a blanket 'no'. PASOK's parliamentary group voted against, but supported articles 14 and 17, whereas Potami also voted against, with the exception of article 10.

During the session, serious tension erupted between the government and the opposition, not only on the package, but also on the origin of personal funds of ministers Alekos Flambouraris and Giorgos Stathakis. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave his full political backing to both of them. He also announced that the investigation process on the Lagarde list is extended by one year.

As regards the measures, Tsipras addressed New Democracy, Potami and PASOK MPs by saying: "None of these are new measures, these are tough measures, and you knew it while voting on the agreement along with us."

The PM announced that the government will come forward with an amendment to extend the term of all outstanding tax cases.

New Democracy President Evangelos Meimarakis accused Tsipras of having requested support from commissioners and heads of state, such as Pierre Moscovici and Angela Merkel, at the summit, to talk the Greek opposition into voting for the bailout package.

Dimitris Koutsoubas from the Communist Party, said: "Not only did you fail to contest the anti-popular measures you were handed down, but you brought along new ones, which are even worse, and on top of it you trash the opposition for not supporting them."

Potami's leader Stavros Theodorakis attacked the governments on the issue of ministers Flambouraris' and Stathakis' undeclared income; he said ruling party officials are trying to foment an attitude that the government itself is shielded from any charges.

The Union of Centrists will not support SYRIZA unless the items the Union put forward were taken on board, said party leader Vassilis Levendis.

Tags: bill measures increasing taxes prime minister Alexis Tsipras opposition
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