Greek parliament approves massive bailout plan

Approval for $93bn euro debt package comes after intense debate during an all-night session of parliament.

    The Greek parliament has approved the draft deal for the $93bn bailout package allowing the deal to be taken to the meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels.

    The deal was approved on Friday morning after an intense night-long debate, where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was challenged by members of this own party.

    The deal comprises measures that add to sweeping new austerity demanded for the new three-year programme.

    Explained: One Minute Greek Debt Crisis

    Earlier, during the fiery debate, dissenters in his own party angrily challenged the government, accusing it of reneging on promises it made before winning elections last January.

    "I feel ashamed for you. We no longer have a democracy ... but a eurozone dictatorship," prominent party member Panagiotis Lafazanis said ahead of the vote.

    The revolt by dissenters who back returning to a national currency could trigger early elections - a risk that will be gauged by the level of dissent in the Friday vote.

    Tsipras' left-wing party won elections in January on promises to repeal similar budget austerity imposed in return for Greece's two previous bailouts.

    His about-face, agreeing this week to tough terms with creditor negotiators from the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund, has led to outrage among hardliners that now threatens to split the party.

    Al Jazeera's John Psaropoulos, reporting from Athens, said that that Syriza's about-turn on the bailout has introduced "a fundamental imbalance" in Greek politics.

    "While more than 60 percent of the popular vote is against austerity, a majority of lawmakers supports it. And that creates a political market - and potential instability."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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