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Greece's Tsipras wins confidence vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has won a confidence vote as he aims to implement a reform package before a key bailout review. He has said the reforms will lead to discussions on debt restructuring.

Tsipras passed the confidence vote in the 300-seat parliament early on Thursday with the backing of all 155 members of his SYRIZA party after three days of debate on his policies.

Tsipras was elected in a snap election on September 20 after reversing his opposition to austerity. He has

pledged to raise taxes, implement economic reforms and pension cuts

as part of an 86 billion euro ($96 billion) bailout package agreed to in August with the IMF and EU.

Around 25 billion euros of the bailout have been set aside to strengthen the capital of banks that have suffered from deposit flight over the past six years.

The government now has until October 15 to pass the first set of 48 reforms ahead of a creditor review, which Tsipras hopes will then open up the possibility to discuss debt restructuring and bank recapitalization.

"We will

quickly pass the hurdle

of the first review, we will conclude the big issues of the bank recapitalisation and the debt and we will proceed at a measured pace to change Greece," Tsipras said in a speech before the vote.

Tsipras said the government's reform package and the bailout will allow Greece's economy to grow by July 2016, and to access international bond markets by 2017.

"This will allow us to gradually restore the long-term stability of the Greek economy ... (regain) investor confidence and, at the beginning of 2017, regain access to international markets," he said.

Greece has been blocked out of international credit markets, apart from a brief exemption last year, since the crisis began in 2010.

The country has instead had to rely on repeated bailouts pegged to the implementation of austerity measures to avoid bankruptcy and an exit from the eurozone.

cw/jr (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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