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Greek Parliament accelerates reform debate to unlock €12B bailout tranche

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Greek Parliament accelerates reform debate to unlock €12B bailout tranche

Greece's Parliament invoked emergency procedures to fast-track debate on a reform package needed to unlock a €12 billion final tranche of bailout funds, the Financial Times reported.

The procedures enable lawmakers to tackle structural reforms on labor regulation, pensions and tax, as well as a medium-term fiscal plan, before voting on the draft bill June 14, the FT said.

Reforms include additional pension cuts in 2019, a reduced tax-free allowance on incomes starting 2020, further opening up the energy market by privatizing state-owned electricity plants, and finishing a national land registry by 2021. The medium-term fiscal plan forecasts an increase in the primary budget surplus from 3.5% of GDP in 2019 to 5.2% in 2022, when the fiscal plan ends.

The legislation is expected to be voted on ahead of a EU finance ministers' meeting on June 21, which will finalize the terms of Greece's exit scheduled on Aug. 20, including a decision on the amount of debt relief Athens can expect, the FT said.

"We are now on the home straight for a successful conclusion of the Greek stability support program ... I am confident we will get there," the FT quoted Pierre Moscovici, EU economic affairs commissioner, as saying.