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Greek parliament backs tough austerity bill

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Greek parliament backs tough austerity bill

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Greece has approved drastic austerity measures, paving the way for a record bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

For the second successive day, violence surrounded the vote as tens of thousands of people protested outside parliament.

Clashes were quickly curtailed as riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators.

In parliament, MPs backed the bill in favour of a 30 billion euro package of cuts to pensions, public workers’ pay and tax hikes.

The measure was not supported by all – three Socialist lawmakers dissented along with most of the opposition.

Further protests are expected, however, as Greece’s main public and private sector unions have vowed to continue to fight the government’s plans.