The coalition government is expected to submit the bill encompassing the agreement recently made with the troika in Parliament on Friday, so that it may be voted in by Sunday. The goal is to have the bill ratified in time for the informal Eurogroup session on the 1st of April, when the government hopes to have the next loan installment worth 11 billion euros approved.
According to a report in Ta Nea, the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the Government VP Evangelos Venizelos decided to include three articles in the bill – one for the banks, one for the structural interventions (of the illustrious OECD toolkit) and one for tax changes – in an effort to deter “rebel” MPs from voting against the whole bill over the milk deregulation debate.
Mr. Samaras’ office has already begun contacting “rebel” MPs who have expressed their disagreement with the coalition government’s intention to deregulate the milk market. The PM’s close associate Takis Baltakos recently spoke with Deputy Minister of Agricultural Development Harakopoulos, who has publicly dismissed the government plans, convincing him to “back down” until the bill is finalized.
Similar meetings will be made throughout the week with other New Democracy and PASOK MPs who have expressed their concerns regarding the deregulation, such as Michalis Kassis, Thanasis Moraitis, Giorgos Vlachos, Nikos Sifounakis, Dimitris Tzamtzis and Giorgos Karasmanis.
Despite the strong public reactions, the government appears confident that the rebel MPs will eventually back down, since non-approval of the “troika agreement” bill on Sunday would cause a serious political problem.
Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras has urged coalition government MPs to vote against the “anti people measures” and to essentially overthrow the government. Mr. Tsipras explained that “MPs must comply with the people’s will and not the bailout’s commands. If they do that and align themselves with the people and not the bailout, we will consider it possible. We will welcome differentiations without a second thought”.