Home > News > World
Monday March 31, 2014 MYT 5:25:02 AM
Monday March 31, 2014 MYT 5:26:07 AM
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's government secured enough votes in parliament early on Monday to pass a key reform bill demanded by its international lenders, in exchange for further bailout loans to avoid default.
A majority of deputies voted in favour of the reform measures Athens agreed earlier this month with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, after more than six months of tough negotiations.
Passing the bill was a condition for Greece to qualify for fresh bailout aid it needs to repay 9.3 billion euros of debt maturing in May.
But it also gives a boost to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' government before local and EU elections in May, as it includes a 527-million euro windfall to be spent on poor, austerity-hit Greeks.
This amount is funded out of Greece's 2013 budget surplus, which exceeded lenders' forecasts.
A poll published on Saturday, the first to be conducted after Greece's deal with its lenders', showed Samaras's New Democracy party nudging ahead of the main opposition, the leftist Syriza, for the first time in six months.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou)
Turkey police shoot attackers at Istanbul headquarters, government vows to find 'dark forces'
Kerry extends Iran talks, French foreign minister returns
Yemen Houthi fighters backed by tanks reach central Aden
Nestlé rewards consumers with biggest promotion ever
The great South Australian adventure
Living away from Malaysia can trigger a lot of different longings
Forced to raise prices
No kinky guests at The Escala
International movement uses talents to provide services to communities for free
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)