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Greek banks get European Central Bank cash ahead of vote on reforms

Published 22/07/2015

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seeking parliamentary support for bailout reforms (AP)
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seeking parliamentary support for bailout reforms (AP)

Greece's liquidity-starved banks have been given a new cash injection from the European Central Bank - just hours before a key vote in parliament on further economic reforms demanded by international creditors in return for a third bailout.

A European banking official said the ECB decided to increase emergency liquidity to Greek banks by 900 million euro (£628 million) - the second such cash injection in just under a week.

Fearing a run by depositors flocking to take their savings out of Greek banks, the government imposed capital controls more than three weeks ago which restrict daily withdrawals to 60 euro (£41) per account holder. Extra ECB liquidity means Greek banks will still be able to hand out cash.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's radical left-led government faces its second crunch test in parliament in a week later tonight. Failure to pass the economic measures could undermine his coalition and trigger fresh fears over the country's future in the shared euro currency.

The vote on changes to Greece's judicial and banking sectors is one of the requirements that Greece's European creditors have insisted upon in order for negotiations on a third bailout for Greece worth around 85 billion euro (£59.5 billion) to begin.

After losing the support of a large chunk of his own party's politicians during a vote last week on creditor-demanded austerity measures, Mr Tsipras has to rely on support from pro-European opposition parties to pass the new measures.

Many in Mr Tsipras's Syriza party, including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, voted against last week's austerity measures, which included big increases to sales taxes that took effect on Monday.

If more than a handful of others join the dissent in tonight's vote, then Mr Tsipras's government could be in trouble.

At least five Syriza politicians said today they will vote against the draft law - including the firebrand parliament speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou.

In a letter to Greece's president and Mr Tsipras, Ms Konstantopoulou said the measures constitute a "violent attack on democracy", arguing that parliament is being given very little time to study the 1,000-page Bill.

A protester clashes with riot police in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15, as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINISANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
A protester clashes with riot police in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15, as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINISANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Riot policemen run after protesters throwing petrol bombs in central Athens, during an anti-austerity protest on July 15, 2015
Riot police run from petrol bombs thrown by protesters during an anti-austerity protest on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on Wednesday as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout.Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens .AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 15: A protester burns a Greek flag in central Athenss during clashes on July 15, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens.(Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Riot police officers run away from fire as anti-austerity protesters throw petrol bombs during clashes in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece's prime minister was fighting to keep his government intact in the face of outrage over an austerity bill that parliament must pass Wednesday night if the country is to start negotiations on a new bailout and avoid financial collapse. The raft of consumer tax increases and pension reforms will condemn Greeks to years of more economic hardship and has fueled anger among the governing left-wing Syriza party. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 15: A protester is arrested by riot police following clashes on July 15, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens.(Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters hold banners in front of the Greek Parliament during an anti-austerity protest on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15, as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLAROANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Riot police guard near an anti-austerity protest in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece has a tentative rescue deal, but relief that it is not falling out of the euro is unlikely to last long: its economy has taken a huge hit. Months of political brinkmanship, uncertainty and bank closures have hurt companies and brought everyday business to a standstill. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 15: A protester clashes with riot police in front of the Greek Parliament on July 15, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters clash with riot police in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens on July 15, 2015 during an-anti-austerity protest. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15 as lawmakers began debating unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout.Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINISANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 15: Anti-Euro protesters march through the streets during an anti-austerity rally on July 15, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis leaves a parliament session in Athens on July 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) and Finance Minister Eyclid Tsakalotos react during a parliament session in Athens on July 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Finance Minister Eyclid Tsakalotos attends a parliament session in Athens on July 15, 2015. Greece's parliament on July 15 prepared to vote on tough reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout ahead of street protests and a brewing revolt within the ruling Syriza party over the agreement. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters march, holding banners and flags in front of the Greek parliament in Athens during an anti-austerity protest on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15 as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout.Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
People buy items for one euro at a store in central Athens, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Greeces troubled left-wing government is seeking urgent relief from European lenders on Thursday, after it pushed a harsh austerity package thought parliament, triggering a revolt in the ruling party and violent demonstrations in central Athens. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A bank employee distributes tags with queue positions to pensioners as they wait outside the main gate of the national bank of Greece to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in central Athens, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Greeces troubled left-wing government is seeking urgent relief from European lenders on Thursday, after it pushed a harsh austerity package thought parliament, triggering a revolt in the ruling party and violent demonstrations in central Athens. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Protesters sit next to a pig head on which is written 'EU' during an anti-austerity protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, on July 15, 2015. Anti-austerity protesters hurled petrol bombs at police in front of Greece's parliament on July 15 as lawmakers began debating deeply unpopular reforms needed to unlock a new eurozone bailout. Riot police responded with tear gas against dozens of hooded protesters who set ablaze parts of Syntagma square in central Athens. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacts during a parliament session in Athens on July 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 16, 2015. Over half of Germans support Chancellor Angela Merkel on the latest bailout deal for Athens, while almost one third would have preferred a "Grexit", a poll said on July 14, 2015. Merkel will try to steer the third aid programme for Greece through the German parilament on Friday, July 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZTOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
A Greek flag with a writing reading ''Greece we love you'' flies during a rally outside the Greek Parliament in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece's prime minister was fighting to keep his government intact in the face of outrage over an austerity bill that parliament must pass Wednesday night if the country is to start negotiations on a new bailout and avoid financial collapse (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos react as they attend a parliament meeting in Athens, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Greece's Parliament has approved an austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors, despite a significant level of dissent from the governing leftist Syriza party. The bill to impose sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts was approved with the support of three pro-European opposition parties. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Protesters scuffle with each other to tear down a Greek flag with a writing reading ''Greece we love you'' during a rally outside the Greek Parliament in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Greece's prime minister was fighting to keep his government intact in the face of outrage over an austerity bill that parliament must pass Wednesday night if the country is to start negotiations on a new bailout and avoid financial collapse (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Outgoing Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis leaves onto his motorcycle with his wife Danai after his resignation at the ministry of Finance in downtown Athens on July 6 2015. Varoufakis resigned in what appeared to be a concession by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to international creditors after his resounding victory in a historic bailout referendum. AFP/Getty Images
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves at the end of a Special EU Summit on the Greek crisis at the EU Council building in Brussels, July 07, 2015. European leaders gave debt-stricken Greece a final deadline of July 12 to reach a new bailout deal and avoid crashing out of the euro, after Greek voters rejected international creditors' plans in a weekend referendum. AFP PHOTO/THIERRY CHARLIERTHIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center, leaves the building after an emergency summit of eurozone heads of state or government in Brussels on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Frustrated and angered eurozone leaders gave Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a last-minute chance on Tuesday to finally come up with a viable proposal on how to save his country from financial ruin. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (2nd R), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4th L), European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (2nd R) and French President Francois Hollande (R) talk during a meeting prior to the emergency Euro Summit, on July 7, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium.
A woman walks past a slogan written on a wall in Athens on July 7, 2015. Eurozone leaders will hold an emergency summit in Brussels on July 7 to discuss the fallout from Greek voters' defiant "No" to further austerity measures, with the country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set to unveil new proposals for talks. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS An elderly man stands beside a lifebuoy hanging on a wall outside a chapel in central Athens on July 7, 2015. Eurozone leaders will hold an emergency summit in Brussels on July 7 to discuss the fallout from Greek voters' defiant "No" to further austerity measures, with the country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set to unveil new proposals for talks. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis faces a barage of media questions as he leaves the finance ministry after resigning this morning on July 6, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Politicians in Europe and Greece are planning emergency talks after Greek voters rejected EU proposals to pay back it's creditors creating an uncertain future for Greece. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS Greece's maverick finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who announced his surprise resignation leaves the Ministry of Finance with his wife Danai on the back of a motorbike downtown Athens, on July 6 2015. Germany dismissed Greece's bid to clinch a quick new debt deal after the country delivered a resounding 'No' to more austerity, appearing little moved by the surprise resignation of the Greek finance minister. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLAROANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Outgoing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis leaves the finance ministry in Athens, on July 6, 2015. Varoufakis resigned in what appeared to be a concession by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to international creditors after his resounding victory in a historic bailout referendum. All eyes turned to the European Central Bank on July 6, following the resounding 'No' in Greece's referendum, as it is seen as the only institution capable of stemming market panic and preventing the Greek economy from collapsing. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Elderly people argue with a bank worker as they wait to be allowed into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greeces Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sundays referendum in which the majority of voters said no to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Elderly people argue with a bank worker as they wait to be allowed into the bank to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015. Greeces Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned following Sundays referendum in which the majority of voters said no to more austerity measures in exchange for another financial bailout. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
TOPSHOTS A woman holds a Greek national flag as people celebrate in front of the parliament on July 5, 2015 in Athens after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Greek voters headed to the polls July 5 to vote in a historic, tightly-fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity measures in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see the country crash out of the euro.FP PHOTO /ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS People celebrate in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. Over 60 percent of Greeks rejected further austerity dictated by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a referendum, results from 20 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS People celebrate in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. Over 60 percent of Greeks rejected further austerity dictated by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a referendum, results from 20 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
'NO' supporters dance a Greek traditional dance in front of the parliament late on July 5, 2015 in Athens after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Greek voters headed to the polls July 5 to vote in a historic, tightly-fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity measures in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see the country crash out of the euro. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
'NO' supporters hold a banner reading 'NO' in front of the parliament late in Athens on July 5, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the 'No' victory in the country's bailout referendum did not mean Athens was headed for a so-called Grexit. AFP PHOTO / Louisa GouliamakiLOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 06: People celebrate in front of the Greek parliament as the people of Greece reject the debt bailout by creditors on July 6, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The greek people have rejected a debt bailout in a referendum with nearly 62% voting "No", against 38% voting "Yes" according to interior ministry figures (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 05: People celebrate in front of the Greek parliament as Greek voters are expected to vote no in the Greek austerity referendum, on July 5, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The people of Greece are going to the polls to decide if the country should accept the terms and conditions of a bailout with its creditors. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is urging people to vote "a proud no" to European creditors' proposals, and "live with dignity in Europe". 'Yes' campaigners believe that a no vote would mean financial ruin for Greece and the loss of the Euro currency. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 05: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis leaves his office as Greek voters are expected to vote no in the Greek austerity referendum, on July 5, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The people of Greece are going to the polls to decide if the country should accept the terms and conditions of a bailout with its creditors. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is urging people to vote "a proud no" to European creditors' proposals, and "live with dignity in Europe". 'Yes' campaigners believe that a no vote would mean financial ruin for Greece and the loss of the Euro currency. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
European MP and former president of the left-wing party Front de Gauche Jean-Luc Melenchon (C) gestures during a rally in support of the people of Greece on the Republique square in Paris on July 5, 2015, after Greeks voted in a referendum on bailout conditions. Early results in Athens showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a Greek crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Over 61 percent of Greek voters on July 5 rejected fresh austerity demands by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a historic referendum, official results from 50 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of the No vote react after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People shout slogans in front of the White Tower, city's landmark, in Thessaloniki on July 5, 2015, after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Over 61 percent of Greek voters on July 5 rejected fresh austerity demands by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a historic referendum, official results from 50 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO /Sakis MitrolidisSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
People shout slogans in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. Over 60 percent of Greeks rejected further austerity dictated by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a referendum, results from 20 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man celebrates at Klafthmonos Square in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. A referendum to decide whether or not Greece will accept the bailout conditions proposed jointly by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank took place on July 5, with initial polls suggesting the Greek country not wanting to pay back their creditors. AFP PHOTO / IAKOVOS HATZISTAROUIAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of the No vote react after the referendum's exit polls at Klafthmonos square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as officials counted the results of a referendum Sunday on whether to accept creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, with three opinion polls showing a tight race with a narrow victory likely for the "no" side. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A woman celebrates at Klafthmonos Square in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. A referendum to decide whether or not Greece will accept the bailout conditions proposed jointly by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank took place on July 5, with initial polls suggesting the Greek country not wanting to pay back their creditors. AFP PHOTO / IAKOVOS HATZISTAROUIAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 05: People celebrate in front of the Greek parliament as early opinion polls predict a win for the Oxi, or No, campaign in the Greek austerity referendum. Crowds are begining to gather in the squares of Athens waiting for the official result on July 5, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The people of Greece went to the polls to decide if the country should accept the terms and conditions of a bailout with its creditors. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is urging people to vote "a proud no" to European creditors' proposals, and "live with dignity in Europe". 'Yes' campaigners believe that a no vote would mean financial ruin for Greece and the loss of the Euro currency. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Polling station officials count the ballots at a polling station in Athens on July 5, 2015. The 'No' vote was seen prevailing in Greece's referendum, as two exit polls suggest. Greek voters headed to the polls July 5 to vote in a historic, tightly-fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity measures in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see the country crash out of the euro. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras votes during the Greek referendum in Athens on July 5, 2015. Greek voters headed to the polls today to vote in a historic, tightly fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see it crash out of the euro. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man withdraws money from an ATM near graffiti reading "Euro = Swastika, 1939-1944: 500,000 Greeks dead" in downtown Athens on July 5, 2015. Greek voters headed to the polls to vote in a historic, tightly fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see it crash out of the euro. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLAROANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
People hold a banner reading "Oxi Troika" (No Troika) as they take part in a demonstration in support of Greece, in Lisbon on July 4, 2015 a day before nearly 10 million Greek voters take to the ballot booths to vote 'Yes' or 'No' in a referendum asking if they accept more austerity measures in return for bailout funds. The referendum on a deal with European governments, the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), was called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the night of June 26-27. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE MANUEL RIBEIROJOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES)-A July 3, 2015 shows Giorgos Chatzifotiadis, sitting on the ground crying outside a national bank branch, as pensioners (unseen) queue to withdraw their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki. Retiree Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece's second city of Thessaloniki in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain. When he was told at the fourth that he could not withdraw his 120 euros ($133), it was all too much and he collapsed in tears. AFP PHOTO /SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES)-A July 3, 2015 shows Giorgos Chatzifotiadis, assisted by an employee and a policeman, as he sits on the ground outside a national bank branch, as pensioners (unseen) queue to withdraw their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki. Retiree Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece's second city of Thessaloniki in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain. When he was told at the fourth that he could not withdraw his 120 euros ($133), it was all too much and he collapsed in tears. AFP PHOTO /SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Greek Communist Party supporters listen to speeches during a rally in Syntagma Square near the Parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Greek Communist Party supporters listen to speeches during a rally in Syntagma Square near the Parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Greek Communist Party supporters wave flags during a rally in Syntagma Square near the Parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS A man walks past a "one euro" store in central Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview on July 2. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS A man sits at a bus station next to a poster reading "YES to Greece, yes to the Euro" ahead of a referendum in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview on July 2. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS An elderly woman is assisted by an employee from the National bank of Greece in Athens, after she felt unwell while waiting in line to get her pension, on July 2, 2015.Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview on July 2. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS A woman walks past posters reading 'NO' ahead of a referendum in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview on July 2. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Pensioners queue outside a national bank brunch, as banks only opened for pensioners to allow them to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview Thursday. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of Greece's Comunist Party KKE shout slogans during a demonstration in Athens on July 2, 2015. General Secretary of the KKE called his party's supporters to vote with an invalid ballot at on the July 5 referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. Greece's left-wing government "may very well" resign if a referendum this weekend on bailout conditions results in a 'Yes' vote, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a radio interview. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
An anti-EU protester scuffles with police outside the European Comission offices in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / Louisa GouliamakiLOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Elderly people take a rest during a demonstration of supporters of Greece's anti-European communist party (KKE) in Athens on July 2, 2015. General Secretary of KKE called his party's supporters to vote with an invalid ballot at the referundum of July 5. The radical left government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras "may very well" resign if Greeks spurn its call to vote 'No' in the plebiscite, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-European Union protesters hold EU and Greek flags and placards reading ''yes'' during a demonstration in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
A dog holds a flag reading ''yes'' during a demonstration of pro-European Union supporters in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
A young boy holds a KKE flag during a demonstration of the supporters of the Greece's anti-European communist party (KKE), in Athens on July 2, 2015. General Secretary of KKE called his party's supporters to vote with an invalid ballot at the referundum of July 5. The radical left government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras "may very well" resign if Greeks spurn its call to vote 'No' in the plebiscite, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-European Union protesters hold EU and Greek flags and placards reading ''yes'' during a demonstration in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-European Union protesters select placards reading ''yes'' during a demonstration in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
A pro-European Union protester holds an EU flag and a placard reading ''yes'' during a demonstration in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-European Union protesters hold flags ans placards reading ''yes'' during a demonstration in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-EU protesters hang a banner which translates as ''No to austerity, no to fear'' from Lycabettus hill in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's radical left government suggested it would resign if it fails to get its way in a make-or-break referendum July 5 that could decide the country's financial future. AFP PHOTO / EUROKINISSI / Antonis NikolopoulosAntonis Nikolopoulos/AFP/Getty Images
This handout picture received from the Greek Ministry of Defence shows Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) meeting with leader of the Independent Greeks party and Defence Minister, Panos Kamenos, at the Defence Ministry in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's radical left government suggested it would resign if it fails to get its way in a make-or-break referendum July 5 that could decide the country's financial future. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Greek Ministry of DefenceHO/AFP/Getty Images
Leftist protesters march in central Athens after occupying the European parliament offices in Athens, on July 2, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Thursday his country would remain united after the upcoming referendum, rejecting concerns the vote on bailout measures is splitting the country in two. AFP PHOTO/ Louisa GouliamakiLOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Leftist protesters try to burn a European Union flag in front of the European Commission offices in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on July 2 his country would remain united after the upcoming referendum, rejecting concerns the vote on bailout measures is splitting the country in two. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Leftist protesters try to burn a European Union flag in front of the European Commission offices in Athens on July 2, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on July 2 his country would remain united after the upcoming referendum, rejecting concerns the vote on bailout measures is splitting the country in two. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Municipal workers carry ballot boxes into a warehouse in Athens on July 2, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming referendum on austerity. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed to press ahead with a controversial bailout referendum as European leaders ruled out any fresh debt offer before Sunday's vote.AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Municipal workers store booths in a warehouse in Athens on July 2, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming referendum on austerity. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed to press ahead with a controversial bailout referendum as European leaders ruled out any fresh debt offer before Sunday's vote.AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Pensioners wait outside a National Bank branch in Thessaloniki on July 2, 2015, as banks only opened to allow pensioners without bank cards to withdraw 120 euros ($133) from their pensions to last them the rest of the week. Amid capital controls and lines of customers withdrawing as much cash as limits allow, the National Bank of Greece on July 2 stressed it was accepting euro deposits at all its ATMs. Greece's radical left government suggested it would resign if it fails to get its way in a make-or-break referendum July 5 that could decide the country's financial future. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis puts on his motorbike helmet as he leaves his office in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen Wednesday to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks to the assembled media as he leaves his office in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen Wednesday to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 02: Greek Communist Party supporters listen to speeches during a rally in Syntagma Square near the Parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 02: Greek Communist Party supporters listen to speeches during a rally in Syntagma Square near the Parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 02: Two men sit outside a money exchange office in Syntagma Square near the parliament on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 02: Commuters make their way home past people queueing at a cash machine on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 2: Pensioners line up outside a National Bank branch on July 2, 2015 in Athens, Greece. As people continue to queue outside banks Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that he will quit if voters don't back him up in Sunday's referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty)
Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters stand behind a huge greek flag in front of the greek parliament in central Athens, on June 29, 2015. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal Monday, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepares for a TV interview at the State Television (ERT) in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Anxious pensioners swarmed closed bank branches Monday and long lines snaked at ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Negotiations with creditors are expected to start soon after the vote.

The Greek government hopes the new bailout talks can conclude before August 20, when Greece must repay a debt worth more than 3 billion euro (£2.1 billion) to the ECB.

Syriza's traditional trade union base is angry at what it sees as Mr Tsipras's betrayal of his electoral mandate. A union representing civil servants is planning an anti-government protest outside parliament before tonight's vote.

But Mr Tsipras has accused party critics of acting irresponsibly.

"I've seen a lot of reactions and heroic statements, but so far I haven't heard any alternative proposal," he told his party yesterday, according to a senior government official.

Mr Tsipras also said those supporting the country's exit from the eurozone or handing so-called IOUs to retirees "should come out and say it, instead of hiding behind the safety of my signature".

The reforms being considered today are aimed at reducing the country's court backlog and speeding up revenue-related cases. Parliament has also been called to approve reforms related to banking union mechanisms, aimed at reducing the risk for European governments from bank crises.

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