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Greece adopts second set of measures paving way for talks on third bailout package

July 23, 2015, 8:33 UTC+3 ATHENS
The measures include accelerating long trials, auctioning mortgaged apartments and houses, and integrating EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive into the Greek legislature
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©  AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis

ATHENS, July 22. /TASS/. The Greek parliament has adopted the second set of reforms on Thursday necessary to launch talks with international creditors on the third bailout deal worth €86 billion.

The package of measures includes changes to the code of civil procedure aimed at accelerating long trials, auctioning mortgaged apartments and houses, and integrating EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive into the Greek legislature.

On July 16, Greece’s parliament adopted the first set of measures that envisages changes to tax laws, thus ratifying the decision made at the Eurozone summit on July 12-13.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said that adopting the two set of measures put forward by international creditors as preliminary conditions allow Athens to start negotiations on the third bailout deal on July 24. The sides expect to reach an agreement by August 20.

Banks reopened in Greece on Monday and VAT (value-added tax) for many products and services will increase as creditors are providing bridge financing to Athens, part of which will immediately go for repaying the loan to the European Central Bank.

The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) told TASS that "additional direct and indirect taxes will stand at around 4 billion euros in 2016, though in 2015 they will be less." "Only increasing VAT will bring 785 million euros in 2015 and €2.39 billion in the next year," ESEE said.

VAT on public transportation, taxi, plane and ship fares will grow from 13 to 23%, along with restaurants and catering services. VAT on electricity, water and several types of products will be set at 13% Taxes for hotels will be increased from 6.5 to 13% starting in October, after the tourist season.

The financial situation in Greece remains unstable. Greece will receive €7 billion approved on Friday by creditors in the framework of bridge financing program. A total of 3.5 billion euros will be used to repay the loan to the European Central Bank, another €2 billion - to International Monetary Fund. The remaining funds will help the country survive through the period of talks on the new three-year credit program worth around €86 billion.

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