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Greek PM seeks ‘national dialogue’ on retirement reforms
[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called for dialogue with the country's top powers on retirement reforms days after the ruling coalition was weakened by a dwindling majority.
"We intend to proceed with a total reform in order to create a more just and viable retirement system," Tsipras told Ethnos newspaper.
"The government will develop its own plan and is going to call all political powers and social stakeholders to a national dialogue... because radical reforms require broad consensus," he added.
Mr Tsipras's comments came after his government on Thursday narrowly pushed a bailout reform vote through parliament, but saw its majority shrink after axing two lawmakers who refused to support a home foreclosures bill.
The government's parliamentary majority was cut back from 155 to 153 lawmakers in the 300-seat body after the two dissidents were ejected from their respective parliamentary groups.
Thursday's bill introduces harsher rules on home foreclosures, and a new tax on wine.
Creditors welcomed the adoption of the new measures, which were a condition of unlocking a 12-billion-euro tranche (S$18.4 billon) in bailout money, including 10 billion to recapitalise Greece's top banks.
After storming to power at the beginning of the year on a programme to free Greece from the restrictions of bailout programmes, Mr Tsipras in July accepted a three-year, 86-billion-euro rescue deal with strict conditions of further cutbacks.
Mr Tsipras said "dialogue" with opposition parties was also needed to work on reforms to the education system and the constitution that are next on the agenda.
Some opposition parties immediately said they were against a dialogue, with socialist Pasok party head Fofi Gennimata saying she was in favour of a broader governing coalition including all pro-EU groups.
Greece's main opposition party, conservative New Democracy, has not yet taken a stance on Tsipras's call for dialogue.
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