Greek Lawmakers Pass Bailout After All-Night Debate

希腊议会将就救助贷款议案进行表决
Lawmakers take part in a parliamentary session in Athens, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.

VOA News,August 14, 2015

Greek lawmakers have approved a $93-billion bailout package from the European Union, just hours ahead of a meeting by eurozone finance ministers to debate the measure.

In a speech to parliament late in the all-night legislative session ahead of the vote, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers that the bailout package is a "necessary choice" for the nation, despite unwelcome tax hikes and spending cuts.

The prime minister was forced to rely on support from the opposition party to get the measure passed, despite numerous procedural delays in the debate that began Thursday morning. Tsipras faced strong opposition from his own Syriza party, including a movement by more than 10 left-wing politicians to create an anti-bailout movement.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet later Friday to make their own up-or-down vote on the bailout agreement.

The deal was settled this week with international creditors - the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund. It imposes harsh new spending cuts and tax increases in exchange for new loans.

If the Greek parliament approves the bailout package, the 19 eurozone finance ministers meeting Friday are expected to sign off on the deal.

The new funds will enable Athens to make a payment on its debt to the European Central Bank later this month. Greece needs the money by August 20 when it must repay about $3.5 billion in debt to the European Central Bank.

Greece has been in financial turmoil for more than five years and had already received two bailouts when it came dangerously close to defaulting on its debts in June. While Athens managed to eke out a new bailout agreement with the European Union, the deal is forcing the government to impose new austerity measures deeply opposed by Prime Minister Tsipras and many Greek citizens.

Critics say Greek citizens already have endured enough financial constraint. They argue that the austerity measures will further damage Greece's ailing economy.

The government has taken several steps to try to halt the financial crisis, including closing the stock exchange for more than a month, shutting banks for three weeks and instituting limits on the amount of money Greeks could withdraw.

希腊议会将就救助贷款议案进行表决

美国之音,2015年8月14日

在希腊议会即将就一项有关接受欧盟930亿美元救助贷款的议案进行表决之际,希腊政府为这个新救助项目进行辩护。

希腊总理齐普拉斯敦促议会批准救助项目。本星期早些时候,希腊与包括欧洲中央银行、欧洲理事会以及国际货币基金组织在内的国际债权方就提供救助贷款达成协议。该协议要求希腊进一步大幅削减开支和增税,以此作为提供新贷款的条件。

齐普拉斯曾表示,他预期有关议案将获得通过,但目前他面对着执政党激进左联盟内部的反对声音。

前希腊能源部长拉法扎尼斯上月因反对接受救援贷款的议案而被免职,他星期四与其他10名左翼政界人士宣布,将发动一场反对接受救援贷款的新运动。

如果希腊议会批准了救援贷款项目,预计欧元区19个成员国的财政部长星期五将签署有关协议。

新贷款将使希腊能够在本月晚些时候向欧洲中央银行偿还债务。

希腊需要在8月20日之前得到贷款,届时希腊必须向欧洲央行偿还约35亿美元债务。