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Greece approves reforms in return for loans, debt relief

Staff Writer |
Greece's parliament approved on Friday reforms demanded by the country's international lenders to conclude a long-stalled review of its bailout progress and qualify for more loans needed to repay debt maturing in July.

Euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg on June 15 to discuss Greece's reform progress and measures to reduce its debt, which stands at about 180 percent of GDP after seven years of crisis.

"It's clear that Greece has fulfilled its promises and met its obligations.

"It has already done more than it was supposed to... and it's now the lenders and our partners' turn to meet their commitments," Labour Minister Effie Achtsioglou told lawmakers before the vote.

The legislation passed after all 153 deputies in the ruling coalition voted in favor in the 300-seat parliament, with 84 opposed to the bill. A total of 237 deputies voted.

Following the vote, euro zone finance ministers are expected to approve a new loan tranche at the June 15 meeting. Athens needs the funds to repay about 7.5 billion euros in bonds and loans maturing in mid-July.

Achtsioglou said the country's lenders also had the "legal and moral obligation" to ease Greece's debt mountain.

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