The Greek parliament has approved its 2014 budget plan. It includes over 3 billion euros worth of cuts as the country hopes to emerge from a six-year recession next year.
The 300 seat-house voted 153 in favour.
The Prime Minister called it an historic day, saying that people’s sacrifices had borne fruit. His finance minister Yannis Stournaras announced: “The Greek economy has adjusted at a very fast rate, and in a very decisive manner, and most importantly, 80 percent of the necessary distance in the fiscal adjustment has been crossed, in order for the public debt to become sustainable.”
After years of cuts imposed in return for bailout money, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the opposition Syriza party, made his thoughts known on further austerity.
“Never has the country, in the last 60 years, found itself in the dire situation it is in today. There is no doubt that the bailout is not the happiest of documents, as Mr. Stournaras called it, but that it has destroyed Greece and will go down in history as a tragedy.”
The government hopes to win more leeway from its international lenders and secure the release of a further 5.9 billion euros in bailout money. The troika are expected to visit Athens in January, however, it is unclear whether this budget will be enough to win them over.