Greek Parliament Passes First Post-Bailout Budget



The Greek Parliament. File photo

Following a long and politically fierce parliamentary debate, Greek lawmakers approved by majority the country’s 2019 budget at midnight Tuesday. This represents the first non-bailout budget for Greece after 2010.

The budget was approved with 154 votes in favor and 143 against, at the end of a long debate in the Greek Parliament. All opposition lawmakers, except one, voted against the government.

“Today were are voting on the first budget of the ‘post-memoranda era … after eight years of austerity,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said, alluding to earlier budgets that were dictated by international institutions and donors.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his party votes against “the government of taxes, unacceptable national compromises, scandals and vested interests.”

Tsipras’ government based the budget on a growth projection of 2.5 percent. It also expects the unemployment rate to decline to 16.7 percent at the end of 2019, from the latest September figure of 18.6 percent.

This is the first non-memorandum budget passed by the Greek Parliament after eight consecutive budgets which had to abide by the dictates of three different bailout programs that Greece agreed to during the financial crisis.