Parliament passes bill on prior actions after minister takes back last-minute amendment

Greece’s lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill legislating for a series of prior actions needed to conclude the second review of Greece’s adjustment programme.

The bill regulating economic activity and business licensing issues was passed with a very broad majority and the backing of opposition parties but only after Alternate Economy and Development Minister Alexis Charitsis agreed to take back a last-minute amendment tabled near the end of the debate.

Charitsis said the amendment, which introduces measures on a raft of issues that include the public investments programme, new financing tools and EU funding programmes, will be tabled again on Thursday.

Opposition parties demanded additional time to process the amendment but did not express any objections in principle.

Entitled “”A New Legal Framework for the Exercise of Economic Activity and Other Statutes,” the draft bill passed on Wednesday was backed in principle by all parties apart from Golden Dawn and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Main opposition New Democracy subsequently voted against some of the individual articles, while backing others that it considered conducive to enterprise and economic growth.

Charitsis had earlier accepted proposals for improvements and noted that the simplified business licencing procedures introduced by the bill will help foster a positive investment climate.