The Greek Parliament has voted in favour of austerity measures necessary to secure a third bailout for the country which is on the brink of bankruptcy.
After a lengthy debate that ran into the early hours of Thursday morning the majority of parliament voted to approve steep spending cuts and tax increases, with 229 in favour versus 64 against.
Of the 149 lawmakers in Mr. Tsipras’s left-wing Syriza party, a total of 32 voted against the deal. Yanis Varoufakis, who was Mr Tsipras’s former minister, was among those who voted against the measures, he likened them to a “Treaty of Versailles” for Greece.
According a government spokesman, the vote “is a serious division in Syriza’s parliamentary group. The basic priority of the prime minister and the government is the successful completion of the agreement in the coming period.”
Before the votes were cast Tsipras told his fellow MPs that there was no alternative but to accept the measures.
“We don’t believe in it, but we are forced to adopt it,” Tsipras said.
He added that it’s his responsibility to ensure that Greece does not default or leave the eurozone.
“I didn’t want Greek society to be in a worse position than in five years ago,” he said.
“We are called to take decisions based on our responsibility, which lie heavily on us. We gave a struggle and I take full responsibility and I am proud that I have fought a difficult battle for the right of the people.”
Now that the Greek Parliament appears to be on board with the measures demanded by Brussels things are now on course for the country to be bailed out in a deal worth around 85 billion euros and prevent it from being thrown out of the Eurozone.
George Osborne’s position on the Greek bailout
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made it clear that the UK should not be involved in any eurozone bailout. However, according to the WSJ, someone familiar with the matter said that the UK government is fine with the use of EU-funds to bailout Greece as long as taxpayers in the UK are protected from any losses.