Greek MP’s have approved harsh economic measures to be able to receive an €86bn eurozone bailout.
The new legislation raises taxes and 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, weakening Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s position in his own party.
The vote was vital to releasing funds from the European Central Bank, which will allow Greek banks to reopen, although cash withdrawal restrictions will remain in place.
Tsipras told lawmakers that he did not believe in the package he had accepted, and believed that it could harm Greece, however the only alternative was bankruptcy which would have had catastrophic effects on the country.
He said: “I acknowledge the fiscal measures are harsh, that they won’t benefit the Greek economy, but I’m forced to accept them,”
By Fiona Carty