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World News \ Europe

Greek parliament passes austerity package

The Greek parliament debating a new austerity bill. - AP

The Greek parliament debating a new austerity bill. - AP

09/05/2016 11:58

(Vatican Radio) Greece’s Parliament has narrowly endorsed a fresh austerity package designed to unlock more bailout funds and keep the country in the good graces of its creditors – but over serious street protests.

Listen to John Carr's report: 

The vote, in the early hours of this morning, was carried by the government’s slim majority of 153 in the 300-seat chamber.  As the deputies cast their votes, riot police battled petrol-bomb-throwing protesters in the streets outside.

The package is expected to further slash pensions and other benefits, while raising taxes on business and the better-off, to secure more revenue so that hopefully, discussion could start on slashing Greece’s intractable debt.

Greece’s finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, flies to Brussels today for a special meeting of Eurozone finance ministers.  He hopes this morning’s vote for more austerity will strengthen Greece’s bargaining hand.   But he has made clear that if this package is deemed inadequate, Athens may dig in its heels.

09/05/2016 11:58