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Eurozone deal laws backed by MPs
July 16, 2015, 10:39 am
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Greek MPs have approved tough economic measures required to enable an €86 billion eurozone bailout deal to go ahead. The legislation includes tax rises and an increase in the retirement age. Two hundred and twenty nine lawmakers 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. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had said he did not believe in the deal, but nonetheless urged MPs to approve the measures.

He said he was willing to implement the "irrational" proposals to avoid the collapse of the banks and disaster for Greece. In a passionate speech just before the vote, Mr Tsipras told parliament: "The Greek people are fully conscious and can understand the difference between those who fight in an unfair battle and those who just hand in their weapons."

The vote passed despite 32 of his ruling left-wing Syriza party voting No and six more abstaining. Among the No voters was parliamentary Speaker Zoe Constantopoulo, who walked out during the debate, before returning to make a fiery speech condemning a "very black day for democracy in Europe".

Former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned on 6 July, also voted against the package, having written a scathing blog about the bailout deal earlier.

Source: BBC

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