?The Greek Parliament approved the second package of economic measures, with support from the pro-European opposition parties; SYRIZA suffered fewer losses compared to last week’s vote
- The second set of prior actions, which were required by creditors and included changes in the banking and judicial sectors, passed with the backing of 230 votes in the 300-seat chamber. In what was a smaller rebellion than the 39 deputies who dissented last week, 36 SYRIZA lawmakers voted against the bill or abstained in today’s early morning procedure. “We made tough choices, and I personally made difficult, responsible choices. Today we must all redefine the possibilities ahead of us given the new circumstances”, Alexis Tsipras said in his address to the parliament and added that “We chose a difficult compromise to avert the most extreme plans by the most extreme circles in Europe”. Ex-Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who had voted against the first round of actions last week, voted in favour of yesterday’s second round. However, in a statement, he said he was doing so in order to help the government buy time and stressed that he still believed the agreement with creditors was set up to fail.
- In the last couple of days, Alexis Tsipras has increasingly taken on his party’s critics, who oppose an agreement with creditors, in an effort to stop the growing revolt. “I’ve seen a lot of reactions and heroic statements, but so far I haven’t heard any alternative proposal”, he apparently told party lawmakers and accused the dissenting MPs of “hiding behind the safety of my signature”.
- Pierre Moscovici, the European Union's top economy official, said yesterday they were looking to sign the bailout deal by mid-August. According to Reuters, officials from the creditor institutions are due to meet with the government in Athens on Friday.
- Just hours before yesterday’s crucial vote, the European Central Bank announced it would provide Greek banks with another €900m in emergency liquidity (the same amount it provided last week). Banks had reopened on Monday, with Athens paying debts due to the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
- The ratings agency Standard and Poor’s raised Greece’s sovereign credit rating to CCC+ from CCC- with a stable outlook, saying that the possibility of Greece leaving the euro zone had “declined to less than 50 percent within our forecast horizon to 2018”.
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