By John Hadoulis and Bryan Mcmanus
Greece's Parliament has approved a reform package to save the country from financial collapse, and sources in Brussels suggest Athens' latest plan could form the basis of a massive new bailout worth €74 billion.
The package was backed by 251 lawmakers out of 300 deputies, according to an unofficial tally, giving Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a mandate to continue last-ditch talks with the country's creditors before a European Union summit on Sunday.
The vote came after Tsipras urged Parliament to approve a package of reforms including a pension overhaul, tax hikes and privatisations similar to those offered by creditors last month, to keep the nation "alive" and in the EU.
The measures, submitted in Brussels on Thursday, sparked criticism from hardline members of his radical left ruling party Syriza, about 10 of whom abstained from or voted against them. Opposition parties, however, helped push them through.
Three senior government figures were among those who chose not to vote, while several others from the ruling party including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis stayed away, showing the weight of division over the plans.
"It is a choice of high national responsibility, we have a national duty to keep our people alive... we will succeed not only to stay in Europe but to live as equal peers with dignity and pride," Tsipras said before the vote.
Parliament's backing came hours after an EU source in Brussels said the country's latest debt proposals were positive enough to secure a new bailout worth €74 billion.
Greece submitted plans on Thursday designed to woo fresh cash from its international creditors.
They concede several key points that Tsipras's ruling coalition - and Greek voters - had previously fiercely opposed.
The plans included a request for a three-year funding program including debt relief and a separate €35 billion investment package.
But while the concessions have brought relief from many quarters, they have also been met with scepticism.
Germany is leading a bloc of eurozone nations that fear Greece could turn into a black hole for any new loans.