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Greeks prepare to vote on new austerity package

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Greeks prepare to vote on new austerity package


The Greek parliament is debating the latest slice of EU-imposed austerity ahead of tomorrow’s vote which, if approved, will open the taps on a 130 billion euro bailout, Greece’s second since 2010.

But there is more pain on the way, as after the vote a further 325 million euros are expected to be slashed from spending, on top of the pension and wages cuts that are proving so unpopular.

Prime Minister Papademos has already lost some members of his coalition government, with two Socialists resigning, and the four far-right LAOS party ministers also slamming the door. But if party discipline holds he can still expect a comfortable majority come Sunday.

However trades unions are stepping up their pressure with a 48-hour general strike paralysing public transport, and the biggest police union says it will issue arrest warrants for Greece’s biggest international lenders for “subverting democracy”.

The bill before parliament will cut the minimum wage by 22 percent, slash pensions by 300 million euros, cut health and defence spending, and privatise more state-owned companies.

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