Greek parliament ratifies 2018 state budget

Greek parliament ratifies 2018 state budget

ATHENS, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Greek lawmakers attend the parliament
ATHENS, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Greek lawmakers attend the parliament
ATHENS, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos addresses lawmakers during the parliament
ATHENS, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos addresses lawmakers during the parliament

Athens, Dec 20 (IANS) The Greek parliament have ratified the 2018 state budget as the government appeared confident that it will be the last one tabled while the country was under a bailout programme.The budget was approved on Tuesday evening with the backing of the 153 deputies of the two-partite Left-led ruling coalition, while 144 MPs voted against, reports Xinhua news agency. A total of 297 lawmakers participated in the roll-call vote.It projects 2.5 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) growth next year up from 1.6 per cent for this year and a 3.8 per cent of GDP primary surplus for 2018 up from 2.4 per cent forecast for 2017.Both estimates are higher than the targets set by the current three-year bailout programme which expires in 2018.Addressing the plenary shortly before the roll call vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras argued that the 2018 budget heralds the post-bailout era and Greece's return to normalcy."The country will honour the commitments it has made towards its creditors and will achieve a stable and lasting access to the international markets at favourable rates," he said.The debt-ridden country has been shut out by international markets since 2010, when it resorted to the first bailout to avoid disorderly default.--IANSksk

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