Discussion on 'parallel programme' bill postponed; issue resolved 'in consensual way,' EU source says

The Greek Parliament's Conference of Presidents on Thursday unanimously voted to postpone discussion on the government's draft "parallel programme" bill, dealing with measures to speed up the government's work and a "parallel" programme of social welfare measures designed cushion the impact of tough reforms.

Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said the decision was made in the wake of objections from the opposition parties to the process for shortening Parliamentary sessions.

The issue is to be revived after January 7, when the Conference of Presidents convenes once more to decide the time and manner of the discussion and introduction of the draft legislation for a vote.

The bill had been tabled in Parliament on Wednesday and was due to be voted on by the plenum next Tuesday.

Commenting on the issue that arose between the Greek government and its creditors regarding the parallel programme, in a statement to ANA-MPA correspondent in Brussels Christina Vasilaki, a Eurozone official on Thursday said the matter had been resolved in a "consensual way".

The source said that some EU member-states had expressed their displeasure at a lack of collaboration between Greek authorities and the institutions.

The Eurogroup Working Group that met via conference call on Thursday decided that Greece must complete the implementation of prior actions on Friday, issuing the ministerial decision for the reforms concerning health, so that a decision to disburse bailout funds might be taken by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) board on Monday morning.

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