Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suffered his second major mutiny in a week, with 36 Syriza MPs defying him to vote against the bill or abstain.
The reforms to the judiciary and banking systems were the final hurdle the financially-battered country was obliged to clear before it can start talks with its creditors on a third bailout worth around 85 billion euros ($93 billion). The reforms, thus, had to be passed with the support of the Pro Euro Zone opposition party MPs. Almost half of those who voted against the reforms were from Tsipras’ Syriza party. “We are summoned today to legislate under a state of emergency”.
He also said: “We were led to a hard compromise, having exhausted every negotiating option; we touched the limits of the Greek economy and of the banking system”.
A government official in Athens, who asked not to be identified, said Greece was determined to resist any further conditions being set for the third bailout.
But after he made a U-turn by accepting a deal at the 11th hour to keep his country in the euro, he told party hardliners to face reality and back the package.
Also on Thursday, SYRIZA’s political committee held a brief meeting during which it was decided that it would hold a proper session on Monday to assess the mood in the party after more than 30 leftist MPs opposed both bills containing prior actions.
Tsipras together with his junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) has 162 seats in the 300 seat parliament.
But last week’s rebellion cut his support to just 123 votes and government officials have said elections are likely in September or October once the package is agreed.
EU Commission spokeswoman Meena Andreeva pronounced the troika satisfied with the vote, saying the reforms had been made law in a “timely and overall satisfactory manner”.
He will now work towards seeking a better outcome for Greece when talks reconvene on Friday.
The government has said it hopes negotiations on a 86 billion euro ($93bn) bailout deal can start this week and be wrapped up by August 20.
Greece’s rating now stands at “CCC+” in an upgrade announced Tuesday.
The start of the formal discussions in Athens shows how times have changed since Tsipras’ radical left Syriza party was elected on a promise to bring an end to the austerity that it blamed for numerous country’s economic ills.
Members of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union gather during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Wednesday, July 22, 2015.
With demonstrators milling around in the square outside parliament and riot police in white helmets disturbed by a solitary petrol bomb, lawmakers spent more than an hour arguing over the procedure Tsipras has employed as he tried to rush through the legislation as the timing for the vote, initially set for midnight, was pushed back.
Last week, Greece and its creditors struck a bailout-for-reforms deal aimed at preventing Athens from crashing out of the euro zone, as it struggles to pay its debts. He added that he disagreed with numerous reforms, but will try hard to implement them.