Greek Parliament passes crucial austerity bill
Athens: Greece's Parliament on Thursday passed the crucial austerity bill that aims to further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member Parliament.
The austerity bill came hours after rioters rampaged outside Parliament during an 80,000-strong anti-austerity demonstration, clashing with police who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.
Approval of the cuts and tax increases worth 13.5 billion euros (USD 17 billion) over two years was a big step for Greek efforts to secure the next installment of its international rescue loans and stave off imminent bankruptcy.
The country's international creditors have demanded that the bill and the 2013 budget, due to be voted on Sunday, pass before they consider releasing an already delayed 31.5 billion euros installment from Greece's 240 billion euros bailout. Without it, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says Greece will run out of money on November 16.
With Agency Inputs