• France's news in English

French parliament backs Greece bailout deal

Ben McPartland · 15 Jul 2015, 18:50

Published: 15 Jul 2015 18:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jul 2015 18:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

French MPs overwhelmingly backed the new Greek bailout agreement on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls saying it was the only route out of the crisis.

The French lower house National Assembly backed the agreement by 412 votes to 69, shortly followed by the upper house Senate, which supported the bill by 260 votes to 23.

In a long, fist-pounding speech, Valls accused opponents of the agreement of trying to push Greece out of the eurozone.

"There can be no 'Grexit', nor 'temporary Grexit' -- an old, absurd and dangerous idea," Valls said.

"I hear talk about humiliation. But humiliation would have been for (Greece) to be driven out of the single currency -- some perhaps wanted that -- while the overwhelming majority of Greeks wanted to keep it."

Several members of the French parliament criticised the deal for forcing further austerity and external control on Greece in exchange for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($95 billion).

But Valls said the conditions of the bailout were "normal".

"If the reforms are demanding, that is because -- it has to be said -- they have never been carried out," said Valls.

"This agreement is not a blank cheque precisely because we are demanding a lot of the Greeks, not just to punish it, but to accompany it through a vital economic recovery."



In the run up to the vote most Socialist MPs agreed the deal was the only option to keep Greece in the euro.

“It was the only means by which help can continue to be given to Greece,” said head of the Socialist party MPs Bruno Le Roux.

“If there was no agreement, it was finished,” he told I Tele.

Another Socialist MP Yann Gulat indicated he would be backing the plan “without happiness in his heart but conscious of the role François Hollande played in supporting Greece and saving Europe".

Story continues below…

“It was an inescapable agreement, but that doesn’t make it a good agreement,” said Christian Paul, a leftist Socialist and leader of rebel group of left-wing MPS called Les Frondeurs.

However those on the far left in the Parti de Gauche indicated they would vote against the deal, which they see as being “disastrous for the future of Greece.”

MPs in the French Green party EELV and Nicolas Sarkozy’s opposition Republicans party, which has been hostile to Syriza and the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, are divided over how to vote.

Some -- but not all -- of the 19 eurozone countries must approve the agreement through their domestic parliaments. The most crucial vote was due to take place in the Greek parliament later on Wednesday.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available