Greece debt crisis Tsipras facing eurozone deal revolt

The new legislation includes tax rises and an increase in the retirement age.

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Striking public sector workers protest in Athens over the austerity measures being debated in parliament play

Striking public sector workers protest in Athens over the austerity measures being debated in parliament

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Greek MPs are debating tough economic measures they must approve by the end of the day in order for an €86bn eurozone bailout deal to go ahead.

The new legislation includes tax rises and an increase in the retirement age.

PM Alexis Tsipras has said he does not believe in the deal, but has urged MPs to agree to the measures.

The vote is expected to pass with opposition help, despite a revolt from some hardliners in the ruling left-wing Syriza party.

Pro-European opposition parties have pledged to vote for the measures.

Hardliners in the ruling left-wing Syriza party are likely to vote against, and the junior coalition party has offered only limited support.

Opponents of the deal took to the streets of Athens ahead of the vote, and unions and trade associations representing civil servants, municipal workers and pharmacy owners held strike action.

More than half of the members of Syriza's central committee have signed a statement condemning the bailout agreement, describing it as a coup against their nation by European leaders.

The possible bailout was agreed in Brussels on Monday by eurozone members, though one of Greece's creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has suggested in a report that it does not go far enough - and that Greece will need some of its debts to be written off.

Greece's economy has shrunk by 25% in the last five years amid austerity measures designed to curtail its ballooning public sector debt.

In order to begin negotiations over a third bailout worth €86bn (£61bn; $95bn) over three years, Greek MPs need to approve measures including:

  • The ratification of the eurozone summit statement

  • VAT changes including a top rate of 23% to take in processed food and restaurants and; a 13% rate to cover fresh food, energy bills, water and hotel stays; and a 6% rate for medicines and books

  • The abolition of the VAT discount of 30% for Greek islands

  • A corporation tax rise from 26% to 29% for small companies

  • A luxury tax rise on big cars, boats and swimming pools

  • And end to early retirement by 2022 and a retirement age increase to 67

Monday's announcement of a possible deal was met with anger among many in Greece, who called it a "humiliation".

Source: BBC



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