The overwhelming majority of Greek Parliament approved the Labor Ministry bill introducing the 120-installment settlement for debtors to the state as well as the package of “relief measures” like the reduction of Value Added Tax and the so-called “13th pension.”
The bill was voted in principle by ruling party SYRIZA, main opposition New Democracy, as well as the Democratic Alliance, Golden Dawn and To Potami.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Centrists’ Union abstained, casting a vote of ‘present’.
The amendments on VAT and the extra pension were supported by SYRIZA, New Democracy, Democratic Alliance, Golden Dawn, To Potami and the Centrists’ Union.
The KKE abstained.
The measures and the settlement are to be implemented as soon as possible, the government hopes as of May 20.
Speaking during the bill debate, prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that “the package of anti-austerity measures that the government is now introducing will generate growth and allow additional relief measures to be adopted by the end of the current year.”
He dismissed opposition claims that the “relief measures” were pre-elections handouts.”
PS You may find it hard to believe but there are Greeks wishing there were “elections” every six months so that ruling parties pass relief measures that would make their financial life easier due to nine years of economic crisis, austerity and over-taxation years.