From the early hours of Saturday MPs turn into …wise men having just a few hours - less than 48 to be precise - to decide the fate of the country for the coming years, based on what the new memorandum and the bond exchange procedure define. After the cabinet meeting, 13 papers of hundreds of pages of complex technical and legal terms were submitted, studied, and approved within about five hours at the Friday night’s meeting.
These papers contain draft laws, explanatory reports, amended provisions and annexes, which will be voted by the assembly as one bill with three articles, as Venizelos stated in his presentation to the cabinet. Of course, as with the first memorandum, measures will be specified after the deposit of the applicable laws in February.
According to the planning, the bill follows the procedures of urgency, to be debated and voted on Saturday afternoon by members of the parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs.
The package submitted in parliament includes:
- 4 articles that describe the bond exchange procedure (PSI), the recapitalization of banks and the support of insurance funds
- 3 very large annexes with dozens of commitments to issues such as reductions in minimum wages, pensions, additional deregulation of professions, layoffs of public employees, integrate of police officers, judges, professors, etc. to the single payroll, reductions in recruitment to the Hellenic Police and the army, increase of redundancy, etc.
- "Letter of Intent" to Juncker, Rehn and Dragi describing the measures taken so far, and those being promoted, and indicating that "we believe that the policies set out in the attached MEFP are sufficient to achieve the program objectives. We are willing to take corrective actions that may become appropriate for this purpose as circumstances change. We will consult with the Fund, EU and ECB to adopt any such action before the review of policies contained in this MEFP, in accordance with the policies of the Fund for consultations." This letter is filed in parliament so that MPs can authorize PM Lucas Papademos, Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos and the president of the Bank of Greece to sign it and send it.