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Multi bill passes

Greek lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday with a series of reforms to pave the way for the next, one-billion-euros ($1.3-billion) tranche of loans under the country's EU/IMF bailout. Fifty MPs voted in favor of the collection of reforms and 47 against.

The money will help it meet bond payments later this month and precedes a major review of Athens' progress by troika in September.

Dozens of uniformed police and navy officers marched to parliament in central Athens on Wednesday to protest against the plan to merge public sector pension funds as lawmakers inside debated the bill, Reuters Karolina Tagaris notes.

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis  addressed the parliament during τηε  debate on the government’s omnibus bill and referred to mistakes that have been reported in the uniform real estate ownership tax (ENFIA) statements. the minister acknowledged there had been many mistakes and authorities have been making efforts to correct them.

On the omnibus bill, he made clear the aim was to set up a national development plan as well as move from an internal consumption-based economy to an external demand-based one and the production of internationally traded goods and services. 
Hardouvelis noted that Greece did not end up like Argentina as it was not left alone. The main issue in this debate, he said, is whether a country can confront by itself the international speculative funds and added that in this confrontation, Argentina was alone and for this reason the county was still facing problems and had no access to the markets. 
“Greece, by contrast, took decisions jointly with its European partners and had their support,” he noted adding that during the Greek crisis, speculative funds had to deal with the whole of the Eurozone. 
The way to deal with long standing economic stagnation, Hardouvelis noted, is not only through the strengthening of domestic demand, especially when public debt is really high. “The main tool to curb recessionary pressures is not policies aimed at boosting consumption; it is structural reforms and public investments,” he noted.