Greek lawmakers have approved a series of long-delayed reforms demanded by international creditors, taking the country a step closer to securing its next multi-billion euro aid installment. Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund insisted Greece approve the steps before handing over its next slice of rescue funding worth 9.2 billion euros, ($12.31 billion) from its second bailout, this one for $173 billion.
The law, approved by a majority in the country’s 300-seat Parliament, gives the Finance Ministry tighter control of the state’s purse strings and restructures assets slated for privatization, among other measures.
“Corruption, tax evasion, bureaucracy, overegulation, waste and bad management are our opponents,” said Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras.
The Finance Ministry will be able to sanction other ministries which have exceeded spending limits, and part of troubled state-owned rail company OSE will be restructured in a move aimed at pushing the country’s delayed asset-sale program ahead. The vote came after Greek lawmakers passed a slew of bills last week meeting further funding conditions ranging from tax reforms to the shutting down of state bodies and putting punishing new tax hikes on workers and businesses.