Reluctant Tsipras fights to pass reforms in Greek parliament

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IMF Calls for Greece Debt Relief Ahead of Bailout Vote


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras battled to win lawmakers' approval on Wednesday for a bailout deal to keep Greece in the euro, while the country's creditors, pressed by the IMF to provide massive debt relief, struggled to agree a financial lifeline.

Having reluctantly conceded to negotiating a third bailout from international lenders on stringent terms, Tsipras must face down a rebellion in his anti-austerity Syriza party to push sweeping pro-market reforms and spending cuts through parliament.

See Greece's reaction to the bailout:

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Reluctant Tsipras fights to pass reforms in Greek parliament
Members of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union hold a banner reading ''No to the giant new bailout'' during an anti-austerity rally at Omonia square in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Members of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union march during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Members of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shout slogans during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Members of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shout slogans during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Riot police guard near an anti-austerity protest in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Demonstrators gather near the Greek Parliament during a rally against the government's agreement with its creditors in Athens, in central Athens, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The eurozone's top official says it's not easy to find a way to get Greece a short-term cash infusion that will help it meet upcoming debt repayments. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Anti-austerity placards, some reading in Greek: "neonazis out", are seen ready to be used ahead of a demonstration in central Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced a revolt in his left-wing party and workers' calls for strikes ahead of Wednesday's Parliament vote on a bailout deal meant to prevent the country's economy from collapsing. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Anti-austerity demonstrators march along a street during a protest in central Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced a revolt in his left-wing party and workers' calls for strikes ahead of Wednesday's Parliament vote on a bailout deal meant to prevent the country's economy from collapsing. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People walk in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The eurozone's top official says it's not easy to find a way to get Greece a short-term cash infusion that will help it meet upcoming debt repayments. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of the Communist Party-affiliated trade union PAME demonstrate in central Athens, marking a 24-hours public sector and pharmacists strike on July 15, 2015 against the new package of austerity measures. Greece geared up for a parliamentary vote on draconian reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout, just hours after a bombshell report from the International Monetary Fund criticised the deal. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-communist supporters demonstrate in front of the finance ministry in central Athens, marking a 24-hours public sector and pharmacists strike on July 15, 2015 against the new package of austerity measures. Greece geared up for a parliamentary vote on draconian reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout, just hours after a bombshell report from the International Monetary Fund criticised the deal. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
A security officer walks along a track at a closed central train station during a 24-hour strike of Greece's railway, in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Lawmakers on Wednesday began debating the austerity bill Greece must pass before the country can start talks on a third international bailout, amid growing anger among governing left-wing Syriza party members. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A man sits and begs for money, as pedestrians walk by outside of a National Bank, in central Athens, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The eurozone's top official says it's not easy to find a way to get Greece a short-term cash infusion that will help it meet upcoming debt repayments. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 14: A man begs on the streets of Athens on July 14, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is meeting members of his party to discuss the eurozone bailout deal before a meeting in parliament to begin implementing bailout reforms. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A man walks past "Greek Railways'' at the central train station during a 24-hour strike of Greece's railway, in Athens, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Lawmakers on Wednesday began debating the austerity bill Greece must pass before the country can start talks on a third international bailout, amid growing anger among governing left-wing Syriza party members. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Anti-austerity demonstrators march during a protest in central Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced a revolt in his left-wing party and workers' calls for strikes ahead of Wednesday's Parliament vote on a bailout deal meant to prevent the country's economy from collapsing. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A protester argues with police while holding a Greek flag on the stairs leading to the Greek Parliament in Athens on July 13, 2015, during an anti-EU demonstration calling for the dismissal of accords between Greece and its European creditors and further austerity measures. Eurozone leaders struck a deal July 13 on a bailout to prevent debt-stricken Greece from crashing out of the euro forcing Athens to push through draconian reforms in a matter of days. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 13: Protesters gather outside the Greek parliament to demonstrate against austerity after an agreement for a third bailout with eurozone leaders on July 13, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The bailout is conditional on Greece passing agreed reforms in parliament by Wednesday which includes streamlining pensions and rasing more raise tax revenue. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 13: A man sits alone with his thoughts as protesters gather outside the Greek parliament to demonstrate against austerity after an agreement for a third bailout with eurozone leaders on July 13, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The bailout is conditional on Greece passing agreed reforms in parliament by Wednesday which includes streamlining pensions and rasing more raise tax revenue. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A woman burns the flag of the ruling party Syriza, surrounded by journalists, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, during an anti-EU demonstration in Athens calling for a no to any agreement with the creditors on July 13 , 2015. Eurozone leaders struck a deal on a bailout to prevent debt-stricken Greece from crashing out of the euro forcing Athens to push through draconian reforms in a matter of days. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 14: A man cleans off the latest batch of anti-austerity graffiti from the walls of the Bank of Greece on July 14, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is meeting members of his party to discuss the eurozone bailout deal before a meeting in parliament to begin implementing bailout reforms. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Leftists demonstrated in Syntagma square against the new agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors during the Eurogroup Summit that announced new austerity measures that will be imposed. (Photo by George Panagakis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: A protester holds a Greek flag at the anti-austerity protest outside the Greek Parliament. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Protesters pose with a Greek flag next to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, making a victory sign, at the anti-austerity protest. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: A protester holds up a banner at the anti-austerity protest outside the Greek Parliament. The banner reads 'Syriza's Deputies Don't Vote For The New Memorandum, The Only Left Thing Left To Do. #ThisIsACoup #NO-OXI DEMOCRACY NOT FUND ON THIS EUROPE'. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Eleni Louka, a religious activist, rants against the EU and the government at the anti-austerity protest outside the Greek Parliament. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Protesters stand behind a banner in Athens on July 13, 2015 while participating in an anti-EU demonstration calling for the dismissal of accords between Greece and its European creditors and further austerity measures. Eurozone leaders struck a deal July 13 on a bailout to prevent debt-stricken Greece from crashing out of the euro forcing Athens to push through draconian reforms in a matter of days. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
People pass by a graffiti showing a euro sign bleeding, in central Athens on July 14, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was on July 14 holding meetings with his party, faced with the tough task of selling a new bailout deal that requires Athens to push through draconian reforms within two days. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: Hundreds of Protesters have come to the anti-austerity protest outside the Greek Parliament. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: A protester poses for the press with a Greek flag at the anti-austerity protest on the steps leading up to the Greek Parliament. Riot police officers have secured the steps and watch him. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SYNTAGMA SQUARE, ATHENS, ATTICA, GREECE - 2015/07/13: A riot police officer returns the Greek flag to the protester. Greeks assembled outside the Greek Parliament under the banner of 'We leave this Europe'. They called for the government to not give into the demands of the Greek creditors for more austerity measures, but rather to leave the Eurozone. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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"It's a difficult deal, a deal for which only time will show if it is economically viable," his finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, told lawmakers during a debate on reforms.

Dozens of MPs, including senior Syriza figures and the government's junior coalition partner, may partially or fully reject the bailout, forcing Tsipras to rely on pro-European opposition lawmakers to carry the vote, which is expected after midnight.

A snap election could follow if the prime minister's majority collapses, and in an early sign of trouble in store, the deputy finance minister abruptly submitted her resignation and the energy minister said he would not back the deal.

"The choice between a bailout or catastrophe is a choice made in the face of terror," Panagiotis Lafazanis, who heads the far-left flank of Syriza, told reporters.

Adding to the uncertainty, a confidential study by the International Monetary Fund, seen by Reuters, called for much more debt relief than European countries, particularly Germany, have been prepared to countenance so far.

That may cause a dilemma in Germany, which has poured more money than any other country into rescuing Greece and where, after months of bad-tempered negotiations with Athens, there is increasingly vocal opposition to yet another bailout.

Tsipras has described the deal as a "one-way street" imposed on Greece and the rest of his government shared his scepticism.

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