Greece Parliament approves bailout package, as PM Tsipras faces deserters

In a predictable step, the Greek parliament approved the bailout package and passed a raft of austerity measures as demanded by the creditors of the EU for Greece to retain its place in the euro. The bailout package was passed with 229 votes in the 300- member house, with 64 voting against the package and six abstentions. It was clearly a politically fraught move with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras facing desertions by many of his allies.

Mr Tsipras had to take the support of the opposition parties to get the bailout package passed and these parties are favourably disposed towards Europe.  With many desertions, Mr Tsipras’s government is left in a shaky position. Mr Tsipras went on to say that he was supporting the package against his own will, as there was no other suitable alternative which could prevent a financial collapse. He also acknowledged that these measures won’t benefit the Greek economy, but he was forced to accept it.

Many Greeks see the bailout as the lesser of the two evils, with banks shut and calamitous financial collapse possible. While most Greeks voted against the bailout package in the referendum, they wanted to keep the euro, as they believe that an exit from euro would not be in the best interests of Greece in the long-run.  With the approval of the bailout package of 86 billion euros, the road to recovery for Greece is a long way off with no certainty that the austerity measures would help.