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Greek PM seeks parliament approval of bailout by Thursday

[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked parliament to convene to ensure a bailout agreement worth about 85 billion euros is approved by Thursday, the government said on Tuesday.

In a letter sent to the parliament speaker, Mr Tsipras said he wanted to have the draft law on the bailout submitted later on Tuesday so it can be distributed to lawmakers and then discussed in parliamentary committee on Wednesday before being voted on Thursday.

"The crucial nature of the situation requires the immediate convening of parliament to proceed with the deal's approval and allow the disbursement of the first installment," Mr Tsipras said in the letter published by his government.

Greece is eager to get the deal ratified by parliament in time for eurozone finance ministers to give their approval by Friday, so that aid can be disbursed in time for a debt payment to the ECB on Aug.20.