Greece passes bill

ATHENS: Greece’s parliament has approved a controversial bill allowing banks to sell non-performing loans to the private sector, paving the way for the next payment of bailout funds. International creditors had put pressure on Greece to pass the bill, which is aimed at lightening the load of bad loans on the banks’ books, making it a condition for handing over one billion euros. The new law, adopted late Tuesday, will allow private specially-created distressed-debt companies to create a secondary market for non-performing loans. This will be ‘beneficial both for banks and private citizens’, Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis told parliament. Greece in July accepted a three-year, 86-billion-euro EU bailout that saved it from crashing out of eurozone, but deal came with strict conditions.