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article imageGreek Parliament votes in new austerity measures

By Katerina Nikolas     Nov 8, 2012 in World
Shortly after midnight the Greek Parliament voted in favour of the latest austerity measures that include drastic cuts and new taxes to the tune of €13.5 billion, and comprehensive changes to the labour laws.
Addressing Parliament Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras said:
"With voting for the measures, we actually vote either for the European path of the country and the exit of the crisis, or for return to Drachma.”
Additionally he made the all too familiar promise that this would be the "last austerity package, the last painful cuts for wages and pensions”.
With 300 MPs voting on the measures the coalition government only narrowly passed the vote, with just 153 MPs voting in favour. New Democracy and PASOK voted yes, whilst junior coalition partner Democratic Left voted simply 'present' in objection to the changes to labour laws. MPs from the Independent Greeks, SYRIZA, Golden Dawn and the Communists voted against the measures.
According to Ekathimerini the coalition lost seven MPs, one from New Democracy and six from PASOK, who were ejected from the two parties having failed to vote in favour of austerity.
The unpopular measures meet the demands of Greece's Troika of international creditors, the EU, ECB and IMF, but are predicted to further deepen the current recession, the Wall Street Journal reported. Having passed the changes to labour laws the country now faces the difficulty of implementing them against the wishes of the unions.
More about greek debt crisis, greek austerity, anthonis samaras, Yannis Stournaras, Evangelos Venizelos
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