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Greece hits out at EU opposition to 'humanitarian' law

Greece has responded sharply to apparent pressure from the EU not to pass Wednesday a “humanitarian crisis” law that would provide free electricity and food stamps for the poorest households. Athens was reacting to an apparent message from Declan Costello, a representative on the European Commission team monitoring Greece, telling the Greek government not to proceed with the vote. Greece won a four-month extension to its 240-billion-euro ($255 billion) EU-IMF bailout in February, but has not received the last tranche because Brussels insists on first approving Athens’s new reform package. Costello’s message, reportedly written on Tuesday after a meeting of Eurogroup technical experts, also referred to a law that would allow tax arrears to be paid in instalments, and is due to be presented to the Greek parliament on Thursday.

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