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Greek parliament ratifies 2018 state budget

Greek parliament

Greek parliament

Athens : The Greek parliament have ratified the 2018 state budget as the government appeared confident that it will be the last one tabled while the country was under a bailout programme.

The budget was approved on Tuesday evening with the backing of the 153 deputies of the two-partite Left-led ruling coalition, while 144 MPs voted against, reports Xinhua news agency.

A total of 297 lawmakers participated in the roll-call vote.

It projects 2.5 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) growth next year up from 1.6 per cent for this year and a 3.8 per cent of GDP primary surplus for 2018 up from 2.4 per cent forecast for 2017.

Both estimates are higher than the targets set by the current three-year bailout programme which expires in 2018.

Addressing the plenary shortly before the roll call vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras argued that the 2018 budget heralds the post-bailout era and Greece’s return to normalcy.

“The country will honour the commitments it has made towards its creditors and will achieve a stable and lasting access to the international markets at favourable rates,” he said.

The debt-ridden country has been shut out by international markets since 2010, when it resorted to the first bailout to avoid disorderly default.

—IANS

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