The Latest: Some Gov't Lawmakers Abstain in Reform Vote

The latest from Greece's financial crisis (all times local):


3:47 a.m.

The official vote count for Greece's parliament vote to back reform proposals has been announced, with 251 lawmakers voting in favor, 32 against and 8 voting 'present' — a form of abstention.

The vote in the 300-member parliament was to authorize the government to use its reform proposals as a basis for negotiation with Greece's international creditors.

Those abstaining or absent from the vote included prominent governing Syriza party members such as Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou, indicating a potentially severe dissent problem that could threaten the government's majority in Parliament. The governing coalition of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party and the small Independent Greeks hold 162 seats.


3:40 a.m.

Several lawmakers who are members of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' governing Syriza party have either stayed away from a parliament vote on government bailout reform proposals, voted "present" — a form of abstention — or voted against.

The numbers were still being tallied but an initial count indicated that two Syriza lawmakers voted against Tsipras' proposal, seven were absent — including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis — and eight voted present in the procedure in the early hours of Saturday.

The dissent does not threaten the motion, which passed with a comfortable majority and authorizes the government to use the reform proposals as the basis for negotiations with creditors. But it was a stark indication of how against the party's initial promise the proposals were, and could cause a problem for Tsipras' coalition government.


3:25 a.m.

Greek lawmakers have approved a government motion seeking authorization for reform proposals as a basis for negotiations for a third bailout in talks with international creditors this weekend.

The 300-member parliament passed the motion by majority vote, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saw some of the lawmakers of his left-wing Syriza party vote "present" instead of approving the motion — a form of abstention indicating dissent from their own party line.

Speaking to Parliament earlier, Tsipras acknowledged the proposals, which include harsh austerity measures such as tax hikes and cuts to pension costs, was far from his party's pre-election promises. But he said it was the only chance for Greece to win a much-needed bailout that will include measures to address the country's debt and will provide adequate financing.


12:35 a.m.

In a speech with a strongly personal tone, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he negotiated as hard as he could and admits his government had made mistakes during his barely six-month tenure as he fought to win bailout funds for his debt-ridden country.

Speaking in a late-night parliament session, Tsipras described the last few months as a war in which difficult battles were fought and some were lost. "Now I have the feeling we've reached the demarked line. From here on there is a minefield," he said.

He added that he doesn't have the right to hide from the Greek people that the measures Greece must take are far from his left-wing party's pre-election pledges.

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