Greece agrees to tougher norms for 86-billion bailout

23 July 2015

Greek parliament today approved a set of tougher new measures needed to clear all hurdles to European lenders agreeing to open a fresh 86-billion line of credit to bail out bankrupt Greece.

Prime Minister Alexis TsiprasThe latest measures include a restructuring of the banking and judicial systems, passed easily (230 to 63 with five abstentions), despite thousands of anti-austerity protesters demonstrating loudly outside the parliament building.

While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has got legislators to agree to tough new dose of budget rigours and market deregulations for western lenders to open purse string again, he pledged his government would never allow banks to seize the primary residences of Greeks.

Greece's new bail-out deal prescribes stiff measures, including tougher rules on foreclosures, which, critics say, few leaders of western Europe's biggest nations have dared to prescribe to their own voters.

"Francois Hollande is very good at telling others how to do their reforms," opposition French conservative Xavier Bertrand said in a dig at France's Socialist leader, a key broker in the Greek accord.

Euro zone leaders, however, refute charges of double standards and insist that the tough measures are needed to rescue Greece from collapse.

They say the measures that Athens needed to implement to secure a new bail-out worth up to 86 billion would, if carried out, transform the Greek economy into a reform poster-child of Europe.

Bur, Tesparis said, "There will be no foreclosures of primary homes," as parliament assembled to vote on the second package of reforms secure a bailout deal.

"The protection of primary residences, by this government, was, is and will be lasting."

Tsipras reiterated that his government was forced into making a difficult choice of accepting tough reforms at the threat of a Greek euro exit, which he said remained on the mind of some of the country's partners.

Tsipras hopes to make some headway in raising resources by focusing on political reforms and fighting corruption and tax evasion by those who have parked large sums of money abroad.

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