Amid violent protests on the streets, the Greek parliament has passed a controversial package of austerity measures in return for a 130 billion euro ($170 billion) bailout. In return for the money the other European Union member states and the IMF have demanded a strict series of measures for the restructuring of the Greek economy. The decision will come as some relief to financial markets, which have been falling as the Greek decision has been stretched out over several days.
As the measures were passed, the BBC reports
that a series of violent protests took place on the streets of Athens and in other major cities, and holiday islands like Corfu and Crete. This included protestors allegedly throwing stones and petrol bombs and the police responding with tear gas. A number of buildings were set on blaze. CBC
estimate that 15,000 people were on the streets of Athens whilst Greek members of parliament debated the measures.
With regards to the austerity measures, RTE
states that the bill sets out €3.3bn ($4.35 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts for 2012 with further cuts to come over the next few years. Speaking just before the debate, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned
that the measures were necessary in order to avoid a default that would cost Greece its place in the eurozone and spark “economic chaos and social explosion.”
Whether the latest decision is sufficient to protect Greece and keep the nation within the eurozone, only the next few days will tell. In the interim, the Greek government will need to work on social cohesion within and attempt to rebuild its economic competency without.