The European Commission expressed encouragement following Greek Parliament's Wednesday approval of a bailout plan and said that Greece could receive short-term bridge loans soon, according to a new Reuters report. These short-term funds were estimated at 7 billion euro ($7.7 billion) and would go toward Greece's July budget.
"Everyone did what is best for Europe, and I think, the Greek parliament has spoken with a very loud voice. We had 229 MPs in favor. That's the signal we're taking out of that," Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said Thursday.
Members of the European Commission and the European Union (EU) more broadly took Greece's passage of the bailout plan as a sign of its dedication to staying in the eurozone. The bridge loans were initially proposed Wednesday on the condition that Greece accepted the bailout package in parliament later that day.
The bridge loan would have a maximum maturity of three months and the funds would come from the eurozone bailout fund of the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM). Countries such as the U.K. and the Czech Republic are opposed to this bridge loan because the funds would come out of the European Union budget.
Since it would be an EU-wide loan and not a eurozone loan, these bridge loans would need to be approved by the majority of the EU's 28 countries, not just the 19 in the eurozone. Unlike the national votes that were scheduled to take place in the next few days in the eurozone countries for approval of the Greek bailout, the EFSM functions on overall majority voting, meaning it would need 65 percent of the total votes, regardless of what the majority vote is in each country separately.
If the EU approves the bridge loans, the money would come with its own set of additional measures for Greece, including reforms of the pension system, increase of tax revenue and strengthening the Greek statistics office.