Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Package
While the international media zoomed in on Libya on Thursday, another important story was unfolding in Athens, where two days of strikes and protests failed to sway parliament members from passing a bill of austerity measures the Greek government insisted was necessary to avoid an even more catastrophic economic mess.
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The government’s bill is needed to secure EU and IMF bailout loans.
The member of the ruling socialist party who voted against it, Louka Katseli, has been expelled from the party by Prime Minister George Papandreou.
Civil servants, shopkeepers, dock workers, taxi drivers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, construction workers and others were all due to take part in the strike, which began on Wednesday.
An estimated 50,000 protesters gathered on Syntagma Square, in front of parliament, on Thursday.
The bill includes plans for further cuts to pensions and salaries and temporary lay-offs of 30,000 public sector workers.
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