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Greece faces next key bailout vote

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 01:52

Greece's leftist government urges disgruntled lawmakers to back reforms that are required for talks on a rescue deal to start. As Sonia Legg reports, the vote is Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's second major test in parliament in a week.

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It's a step by step process - and Greek bankers were the latest to take centre stage in Athens. Several chiefs and chairmen from the country's main lenders met with the Prime Minister ahead of the latest key vote in parliament. Their banks re-opened on Monday but normal service hasn't yet resumed. Louka Katseli is President of the Hellenic Bank Association. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LOUKA KATSELI, PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC BANK ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "This is damaging the economy, the real economy. The sooner we meet this goal the better ." Katseli's goal is an economy that operates normally - preferably within the euro. That's Tsipras's aim too but it's proving hard to achieve. He's already passed one set of key reforms, including tax hikes and budget changes. The second one will reform the justice system and deal with failed banks. They'll have to impose losses on shareholders and creditors before taking any taxpayer's rescue money. WIDE SHOT OF MEETING/ (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREECE'S PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "What is important right now is that the system gets back to normal. At the same time, we have to ensure our vulnerable citizens are not harmed by the new developments." The reforms are being imposed by Greece's lenders in return for new talks on a third bailout plan. Azad Zangana from Schroders says Tsipras will again need opposition parties to pass them. (SOUNDBITE) (English): AZAD ZANGANA, SENIOR EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, SCHRODERS, SAYING: "This should be far less controverisial than the reforms passed last week around the pension cuts and the increase in value added tax so we are expecting the reforms to be voted through quite smoothly." There was another piece of encouraging news too - Standard and Poor's upgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating by two notches. But there are still hurdles ahead. Early retirement needs to be curbed and tax breaks for farmers removed. That'll double their tax bill and it's a move those vital opposition parties say they won't support.

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Greece faces next key bailout vote

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 01:52