The Greek parliament has overwhelmingly approved the adoption of a new code of civil procedure as part of a package of reforms demanded by the EU and International Monetary Fund before talks can begin on a third bailout deal for the country.
The new code, which is to streamline Greece’s notoriously slow judicial system, met opposition from anti-austerity rebel MPs within the ruling left-wing Syriza party.
However, with help from the main opposition parties, the package of reforms, including the new code, was passed by a comfortable 230 votes to 63.
Greece can now begin formal talks with the IMF and other lenders on agreeing a further loan of up to 86bn euros (around £60.5bn).
The rebel Syriza MPs opposed the reforms on the grounds that this month's referendum ruled out the adoption of more austerity measures. They believe that the party’s leader, prime minister Alexis Tsipris (pictured), has misled the electorate by reneging on the anti-austerity principle upon which he had campaigned.
Tsipras was unrepentant last night. ‘We made difficult choices and now we must all adapt to the new situation,’ he told parliament. He added that he disagreed with many of the reforms, but will try hard to implement them.