Politics: Mid-term programme law passed in principle by parliamentary com't

The law outlining the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Programme's implementation until 2015 was passed by members of Parliament's standing committee on economic affairs on Tuesday, with the majority vote from ruling party MPs.
A second reading will be completed later in the afternoon, while an urgent debate and roll call vote will take place in the Parliament’s plenary session on Wednesday.
A vote on a related enabling law will come on Thursday.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos tried to assuage MPs fears as regards the privatisations, assuring them that Parliament will monitor the process closely.
Several ruling PASOK party MPs maintained that privatisation procedures should not be sped up, stressing that public assets should not be sold during a recession to avoid losing on their value. They referred to an inability to collect revenues, underlining that valuable time was lost and insisted on structural changes in favour of taxpayers who are hit the hardest by the austerity measures.

On their part, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party MPs said that, in principle, they will vote down the law and will present the party's position on certain articles of the draft law in Wednesday’s plenary session debate. ND accused the government of being inconsistent and lacking credibility, characterising the measures unfair and ineffective.
Opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE) parliamentary spokesman Nikos Karathanassopoulos accused the government and the “willing” political parties, as it charged (ND, MP Dora Bakoyannis) of agreeing to discuss the law under urgent procedures for the purpose of serving the country's lenders. The KKE deputy subsequently walked out of the committee deliberations, stressing that his party will submit a proposal on a roll-call vote.
Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) parliamentary spokesman Makis Voridis called on the government to commit that privatisations will follow a specific, transparent procedure.         
Finally, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) spokesman Dimitris Papadimoulis accused the government of continuing the same failed policy by adopting even tougher measures.

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