Greek lawmakers passed draft legislation on Tuesday aimed at simplifying the process of starting a new business, thus removing the dreaded red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that have often deterred foreign investment.
"The government will move decisively on investment issues, with transparency and broader social consensus to restore enterprise in the country in conditions of social justice, without exclusion or discrimination," said Economy and Development Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou pledging to deliver "enterprise in conditions of social justice".
The draft legislation, which received wide support from parliamentarians across all parties, hopes to attract investment and improve the functioning of the market.
Referring to the need of consensus for the passing of the final bill Papadimitriou called the “greatest possible consensus" since the draft bill would help "...when I address the international community and negotiate on issues that afflict Greek society, such as a settlement of the debt, I want to speak on behalf of the Greek people. This is why I am seeking the greatest possible consensus in Parliament," he said.
The bill was passed "in principle" by the ruling coalition parties SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL), as well as main opposition New Democracy, Potami and Union of Centrists. Votes against were cast by the Democratic Alliance, Golden Dawn, and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
Meanwhile, a second draft bill simplifying the red tape involved in issuing a business licence, entitled "A New Legal Framework for the Exercise of Economic Activity and Other Statutes" was also passed by the relevant Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday. The measures introduced by the draft bill are also among the prior actions needed to conclude the second review of the Greek adjustment programme. The draft bill has been tabled using fast-tracked procedures and is due to be discussed and voted on in the Parliament plenum on Wednesday.