ATHENS, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Greek lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday with a series of reforms to pave the way for the next, one-billion-euros ($1.3-billion) tranche of loans under the country’s EU/IMF bailout.
The money will help it meet bond payments later this month and precedes a major review of Athens’ progress by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in September.
Dozens of uniformed police and navy officers marched to parliament in central Athens on Wednesday to protest against the plan to merge public sector pension funds as lawmakers inside debated the bill.
“Don’t rob our pension funds!” a banner unfurled by the protesters read.
The bill also allows more construction and business activity along Greece’s vast and mostly pristine Mediterranean coastline, plans for which sparked outrage in the country, and includes a proposal to supervise the funding of political parties.
Greece is forecast to return to marginal growth this year after a six-year depression that has wiped out a quarter of its output.
While it has enjoyed a turnaround in investor sentiment in recent months, it is still dependent on aid from its lenders who have staved off bankruptcy with two bailouts worth nearly 240 billion euros since 2010. (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Louise Ireland)