Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wins parliament's backing for a second package of reforms needed to start talks on a financial rescue deal. Paul Chapman reports.
A second wave of reforms needed to start talks on a financial rescue deal for Greece won firm backing in the Greek parliament. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced down a revolt by rebels within his own party to get a comfortable majority. The package of judicial and banking reforms was backed by 230 of the 300-seat parliament thanks to the support of pro-euro opposition parties. The vote in the early hours of Thursday opens the way for bailout talks to begin on Friday. The measures demanded for the negotiations to begin haven't gone down well with everyone. As lawmakers began the debate there were minor clashes between police and anti-austerity protesters outside the parliament building in Athens. A first set of reforms focussing on tax rises and budget discipline was passed a week before. The second set passed on Thursday covers rules for dealing with failed banks, and speeding up the justice system. The measures were demanded by the euro zone and International Monetary Fund as the key to open talks on an 86 billion euro rescue loan.