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Monday, March 2, 2015

Greek Parliament Will Not Vote on Loan Agreement

The Greek government confirmed on Monday that the four-month loan extension agreement will not be submitted to parliament since it is not required. SYRIZA parliamentary spokesperson Konstantinos Fylis said that MPs have an opportunity to discuss the agreement but not vote for it. Speaking to Greek TV, the new SYRIZA Central Committee general secretary, Tasos Koronakis, said that the list of reforms and measures presented to the Eurogroup was a generalized text and that the parliament will vote on specific legislations and measures after the four-month bridge program, when the final agreement will be reached. The government statements came after opposition parties criticized it for not bringing the matter to parliament. There were claims that the new government was afraid to bring the agreement to the Greek parliament because the new agreement is, in essence, a continuation of the existing bailout program. The government decision not to bring the agreement to parliament was criticized by SYRIZA members as well. MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis tweeted that it is not a legal but a political obligation to bring the agreement to the Greek parliament.   Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that since this is an extension of an agreement, it is not required by law to get the parliament’s backing. However, Tsipras pledged that after the four-month extension is over, he will ask for the parliament’s approval over specific legislations required by the bailout agreement to be signed then. “The Prime Minister is determined to have a discussion on this… we are not afraid of dialogue,” said government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis. “There is a reason that the government chooses at this time not to bring the agreement to parliament for approval, for it has to do with the fact that it is just the extension of an already existing loan agreement,” he added.