Greek PM Alexis Tsipras fights to keep bailout deal on track

Caitlin Morrison
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Protesters took to the streets in Greece ahead of last night’s vote on further reforms
Greece's banks received a new cash injection from the European Central Bank (ECB) yesterday, ahead of a crucial vote on a third bailout for the country.

The ECB’s governing council raised the cap on emergency assistance for the country’s fragile banking system by €900m (£630m), as Greek politicians debated ahead of voting on a second package of reforms which could open up talks on a rescue deal for the debt-stricken nation.

A first set of reforms that focused largely on tax hikes and budget discipline triggered a rebellion in the leading Syriza party last week and passed only thanks to votes from pro-EU opposition parties.

The bill voted on overnight covers rules for dealing with failed banks and speeding up the justice system - two of the conditions set by the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to open negotiations on an €86bn rescue loan.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had the task of trying to contain a rebellion in his left-wing party, with division within Syriza laid bare after last week’s rebellion by 39 members.

Tsipras himself, who is associated with the moderate wing of his party, has publicly said he disagrees with measures demanded by Greece’s Eurozone peers and the IMF for talks to proceed on a third bailout to save the country from bankruptcy.

But after he made a U-turn by accepting a deal at the 11th hour to keep his country in the euro, he told party hardliners on Tuesday that they should face reality and back the package.

The government has said it hopes negotiations on the bailout deal can start this week and be wrapped up by 20 August.

Greek anti-austerity protestors took to the streets last night, in a series of rallies against reforms that they fear will lead the country into poverty.

Demonstrations stayed mainly peaceful, however a petrol bomb was thrown in front of the parliament building in Athens late last night.

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