12 November 2012, 03:29

Greece's parliament passes 2013 austerity budget with a clear majority

Greece's parliament passes 2013 austerity budget with a clear majority

Greek lawmakers have approved the 2013 budget involving fresh spending cuts, despite mass public street protests.

The new Greek budget, which aims to reduce government costs by 9.4 billion euros, was passed by a vote of 167 to 128.

The bill was a pre-condition for Athens to be granted the next tranche of 31.5 billion euros in international aid by the European Union ans the International Monetary Fund, something that is necessary to stave off bankruptcy.

Another austerity package of tax increases and pension cuts was passed last week.

Ahead of the vote, more than 10,000 protesters rallied outside the parliament in the capital, Athens.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras earlier warned that without the new loan, Greece would start running out of money on Friday.

Eurozone finance ministers are due to meet just hours after the vote in Athens, and Mr Samaras is now expected to travel to Brussels for a series of meetings.

Due to the dire economic crisis in Greece unemployment currently exceeds 25% and the national debt is expected to increase next year to 189.1% of GDP.

Voice of Russia, BBC, RIA

 

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