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Greek MPs to vote on unpopular reforms

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 01:33

Greek MPs are set to vote on a range of reforms including raising the retirement age and increasing punishments for tax evasion, in order to secure the country's third bailout. Kirsty Basset looks at what's at stake for Greece and its prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.

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Raising the retirement age, cutting pensions and increasing punishments for tax evasion. Unpopular reforms that have driven protesters to the streets, ahead of a vote in the Greek parliament. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PAME UNION MEMBER, YANNIS TASIOULAS, SAYING: "The measures that the government wants to introduce are disastrous. No one is exempt from this attack; young or old, pensioner or unemployed, worker or student." The government has said it had no other choice but to approve the reforms, to help the economy get back on its feet. At stake is access to much needed aid in an 86 billion euro bailout deal. IG's Alastair McCaig believes the reforms will ultimately be approved. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "Considering the difficulties with which Greece had to battle in order to get August's austerity package on the table from the eurozone, common sense would dictate that this should be a relatively straightforward decision." And if the painful bills are passed, it may open the door to talks on restructuring Greece's massive debts - which are set to exceed 180 per cent of GDP this year. That's a discussion Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would like to get going before the end of the year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "This would be a sizeable step in the right direction and certainly expediate any further negotiations and assistance as regards to debt relief towards Greece." Inspectors are expected in Athens this month to check on the country's progress in implementing the aid deal agreed in August.

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Greek MPs to vote on unpopular reforms

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 01:33