The Greek government is to legislate all remaining prerequisites of the bailout program so that the third evaluation can be completed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.
According to Maximos Mansion sources, the prime minister upon his return from Serbia – where he spent a short holiday with his family at the invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – asked for the start of necessary procedures to complete the third review of the rescue program.
Tsipras said that all prerequisites must be ratified by January 15, as agreed with creditors. Presidential decrees, new bills and amendments must be tabled in parliament and voted for by that date, the sources said.
The prime minister wants to have an agreement in hand, at the January 22 Eurogroup, so that the next loan tranche is disbursed. After the disbursement, the Greek government plans a bond sale to test the international markets. More importantly though, the sources said, the government wants to complete the third review on time, so that the program is completed by August 2018.
With that in mind, the prime minister is considering opening the parliament next week, prior to the Epiphany celebration, so that the pertinent parliamentary committees can start discussing the relevant drafts.
It is not certain, however, whether the draft bills will be tabled in parliament as separate bills, or if the government will try to pass them all together as an omnibus bill. The concern is that some of the bills and amendments, such as the liberalization of the energy market or the unions’ strike regulations, will face fierce opposition.
The same sources say that there is a certainty at the Maximos Mansion, that the 153 MPs of the coalition will vote in favour of the bills.