Greece approves the latest reforms creditors are demanding to release the next tranche of bailout funds, but protests mar the vote in parliament. David Pollard reports.
It's become a familiar routine. Protest outside parliament - whilst inside, a reform vote is carried - usually by a narrow margin. This time, the vote secures another billion euros of bailout funds Greece needs to pay state arrears. Progress, then, says Richard Hunter of Hargreaves Landsdown. Richard Hunter, Head of Equities, Hargreaves Lansdown. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF EQUITIES, HARGREAVES LANSDOWN SAYING: "Compared to where we were even 18 months ago with Greece, there is clearly some sign of improvement, not in just in terms of their economy, but most importantly in terms of the reforms they are pushing through." Opposition parties aren't quite so sure. These reforms are for public sector wages. And to allow banks to dispose of non-performing loans - they account for 40% of all Greek bank loans - so that they can qualify for new funds. The need for new funding, though: that was created by the government in the first place. Claims opposition Socialist leader Fofi Gennimata. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LEADER OF SOCIALIST PASOK PARTY, FOFI GENNIMATA, SAYING: "The economy sank because of the experiments you conducted in your first term, where we saw more than 40 billion euros in deposits vanish and capital controls imposed. That's why we had to proceed to a bank recapitalisation that had previously been unnecessary." Greece has to undergo a bailout review by creditors next year. Ahead of that - parliament must approve another vote on key pension reforms. That seen as a tougher test still.