The government’s multi bill on ‘prior actions’ passed through Parliament last night (20.11) with 153 votes in favour and 137 votes against in the 300-seat chamber, but the government majority shrank as two dissenting lawmakers from the ruling coalition parties – Stathis Panagoulis from SYRIZA and Nikos Nikolopoulos from the Independent Greeks – were expelled from their parliamentary groups.
The bill’s approval, which entails regulation on tax arrears and home foreclosures, was welcomed by European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, as “another step forward for Greece” and it will unlock the disbursement of 12 billion euros aid for Greece – 2 billion as a sub-tranche of Greece’s loan programme and up to 10 billion more to recapitalise Greece’s top four banks. All opposition parties voted against the bill, mainly on the provisions related to the non-performing ‘red loans’ and the foreclosure protection to primary residences.
Earlier on Thursday, former government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis resignedfrom his seat in protest at the new measures and was replaced by Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform, Christoforos Vernardakis.