Greek Parliament Passes Fresh Austerity Measures
The Greek parliament passed a new set of controversial austerity measures amid widespread public protests.
On Sunday, all but one of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' 153 deputies voted for the unpopular policies, which include budget cuts and tax hikes.
In protest to the new legislation, large numbers of demonstrators gathered outside the parliament as the lawmakers cast their ballots.
The austerity measures are part of a package demanded by the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for an 86-billion-euro bailout.
The new measures were passed just two days before a Eurozone meeting expected to unlock the next tranche of bailout funds for Athens.
"European leaders get the message that Greece is sticking to its promises," said Tsipras ahead of the vote. "Now, it's their turn."
Greece has been in a state of economic crisis since 2009. The country has already received two bailouts in 2010 and 2012, worth a total of 240 billion euros.
However, the leftist government of Tsipras, which came to power in early 2015 on promises of more independence from EU's economic policy, later accepted new tax hikes and pension cuts to meet lenders' conditions for a new bailout.
During the three-day debate which preceded the vote, a parliament member in Tsipras' party said he was disgusted at being forced to endorse measures he had opposed for all his life.
"I am in mourning," Giorgos Dimaras said. "This is what can only be called wretchedness."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team