Greece: MPs depart parliament after backing Tsipras' new bailout plan

Members of the Hellenic Parliament departed the building in Athens, Saturday after voting to back Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' new bailout plan which offer economic reforms in exchange for a new three-year €53.5 billion ($60 billion) bailout package. The proposal won the support of 250 out of 300 MPs. Reports indicate that only 145 out of 162 Syriza-ANEL MPs voted in favour of the bill, while eight Syriza MPs abstained from voting including Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis, seven didn't attend the session, and two voted no. In total 32 voted against the motion. The voting began shortly before 00.00GMT (03.00 local time) with the results published around one hour later, following a marathon parliament session that had to go into a second day due to the fact that the bill had been fast-tracked by Tsipras. The new proposals reportedly include the privatisation of regional airports and seaports, raising the retirement age to 67 by 2022, abolishing solidarity instalments for poorer pensioners before 2020, increasing the number of items with a 23 percent tax rate, cutting military spending by €300 million ($335 million) over the next two years and raising corporation tax to 28 percent. Now the proposal has the backing of parliament, Tsipras, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis and new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos will begin negotiations with Brussels on Sunday.

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