Greece narrowly escaped an exit from the 19-member eurozone in July following months of uncertainty after the government and its worldwide creditors struck a bailout “aGreekment” in a reform-for-aid deal for the debt-stricken country.
The vote came after a marathon all-night session marked by procedural delays and acrimonious debate over the three-year, about 85 billion-euro (USD 93 billion) rescue package that includes harsh spending cuts and tax hikes.
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said the deal was “an important step forward” but stressed again that Greek debt was “unsustainable” and that relief would be needed.
“The fight against the new bailout starts today, by mobilising people in every corner of the country”, said a statement signed by Mr Lafazanis and 11 other Syriza members and posted on the far-left faction’s Iskra website.
The bailout would prevent a default by Greece on its debts – as soon as next week – that could force it out of Europe’s joint currency.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal sent a message “loud and clear” – Greece will stay in the eurozone.
“Syriza accepted a new, third bailout – austerity that goes against its program and pledges”, Lafazanis told Efimerida Ton Syntakton newspaper, adding that this “will open the way for a mutation of Syriza with an uncertain ending”.
But for now, the scene is set for eurozone finance ministers, meeting in Brussels later in the day, to give the bailout their seal of approval.
At the same time he said preparations for the meeting had “gone well”.
Tsipras said Germany, and in particular its finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, was attempting to undermine Greece and its position in Europe’s joint currency, and would rather see Greece kicked out of the euro.
The unexpectedly large contingent of dissenters, including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, heaped pressure on Tsipras to clear the rebels swiftly from his party and call early elections in the hope of locking in popular support.
Greece will receive a first instalment of 13 billion euros next week, helping cover a debt payment due to the European Central Bank next Thursday.
Eurozone finance ministers have agreed on a new bailout deal for Greece after Athens backed the plan.
But after a deadlock since January that ravaged the already weak Greek economy and which was ended in a dramatic U-turn a month ago by the anti-austerity leftist government to avert Athens’ expulsion from the euro zone, there was a cautious sense of optimism among ministers gathered in a Brussels deep in summer holiday languor.
Mr Tsipras survived similar revolts during two key votes in parliament in July, when MPs passed tough economic measures required for the deal to progress.