Greek Parliament president: Vote on latest austerity measures by May 18
The latest austerity measures the Greek government promised creditors, included in an agreement finalized early last month, will be brought to Parliament on May 15 for debate and a vote by the legislature’s plenum by May 18.
Parliament President Nikos Voutsis made the statement on Monday in an off-the-cuff briefing of reporters.
The agreement, in principle, was achieved on the sidelines of a Eurogroup meeting Malta on April 7, with the latest “unofficial deadline” now a May 22 Eurogroup meeting. Euro area finance ministers are expecting a final staff-level agreement in order to sign off on a conclusion of the second review of the Greek program.
In mirroring similar Parliament sessions in the past few years, when memorandums or significant prior actions were tabled, the pending draft bills will be submitted via a so-called “fast-track” process.
Voutsis, a veteran leftist lawmaker, also predicted that all 153 MPs backing the current leftist-rightist coalition will “toe the party line” and vote in favor of the latest austerity measures, i.e. pension cuts in 2019 and an expansion of the tax base, downwards, in 2020.
He also claimed the main opposition will have a “problem” with a package of “countervailing measures”, mostly increased welfare spending, after 2018 – assuming that whatever government in power at the time achieves creditor-mandated fiscal targets and proceeds with the off-setting measures.
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