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Greek parliament adopts law on reforms, paving way for third bailout program

July 16, 2015, 9:36 UTC+3 ATHENS

he law fixes changes in the tax legislation, in the sphere of social benefits and insurance, and an increase in the retirement age

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ATHENS, July 16. /TASS/. The Greek parliament has adopted on Thursday the law on reforms envisaged by preliminary agreement with the European Union on providing a third bailout package to Athens worth €80-90 billion.

The document ratified the agreement reached at the Eurozone summit on July 12-13, introduces changes to tax legislation and in social payment and insurance sphere, as well as limits the practice of early retirement.

According to Parliament Vice-President Alexis Mitropolous, 229 MPs voted for the law out of 300, while 64 deputies voted against and 6 others abstained. Among the opponents of the document are 32 deputies from the ruling coalition Syriza. The six MPs that abstained are also members of this party. Most of them are part of the so-called Left Platform in the party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. It is expected that Tsipras will reshuffle his cabinet later today.

The agreement with Greece was reached on Monday and the conditions for launching talks on the new aid package have been discussed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Brussels. "We have cleared the way towards new aid," Merkel said, stressing that writing off the country’s debt is not on the agenda.

Merkel stressed that there are now all the conditions for talks on aid for Greece as part of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The new three-year bailout may reach between €82 and €86 billion. The Eurogroup, an informal body of the ministers of the euro area member states, is ready to agree on additional measures if necessary, she added.

The compromise agreement was reached at the meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Council President Donald Tusk.

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