Greek Parliament Greenlights Austerity Measures

World | May 6, 2010, Thursday // 21:22|  views

"The emergency measures are the condition for us to regain our credibility and win time, lost time. The time to make the big changes that were delayed for years," George Papandreou said in parliament on Thursday. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Greece's parliament has voted in favour of the hefty cuts and reforms proposed by the government to address the country's financial crisis.

With 172 of 300 votes in favour, one report said a second vote would have to be passed for the bill to become law.

The vote comes a day after three bank workers died in a petrol bomb attack as demonstrations over the planned austerity measures turned violent.

The finance minister said the measures were the only way to avoid bankruptcy.

But as the vote was held demonstrators gathered outside parliament to protest against the measures.

Wednesday's deaths have shocked many in Greece. Bank workers have gone on strike in anger at the loss of their colleagues.

Speaking in parliament ahead of the vote, Prime Minister George Papandreou said violence was "not a solution".

"The future of Greece is at stake," he said. "The economy, democracy and social cohesion are being put to the test."

He expelled three Socialist deputies from his parliamentary team for abstaining in the vote.

The expulsions still leave Papandreou with a majority of members in the house (157 out of 300).

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Tags: Greece debt crisis, greece


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