Enabling law clears Parliament hurdle

An implementation or enabling law linked with the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Programme was ratified, in principle, on Thursday in Parliament, with 155 deputies voting in favour to 136 against. Out of the 296 MPs present for the vote, five voted "present".

The process concluded mostly along strict party lines, with main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputies voting against the law, in principle, for in favour of 21 out of 49 separate articles. The vote followed yesterday's vote in favour of the mid-term programme.

"Allow me to be complete clearly. We agree, in principle, to three chapters of the draft bill, out of the total six, namely, we agree to the ones on privatisations, the transparency law and in reducing spending," ND rapporteur Costis Hatzidakis said.

He echoed earlier statements by ND leader Antonis Samaras, who said from Parliament's podium that "if you (government) do not substantially change the direction of your policies, we will vote against any Memorandum II, regardless of whether you table it with 180, 250 or even with 300 votes necessary (to ratify the draft bill)..."

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