The debate over an austerity package in the Greek parliament was angry and at times impassioned, but the outcome seemed inevitable. Despite the withdrawal of a small coalition partner, the government still had the numbers needed to pass the bill.
It sets out 3.3 billion euros in wage, pension and job cuts this year alone – the price the Greeks must pay for thier 130 billion euro bailout from the EU and IMF. It is the country’s second since 2010.
Athens needs the international funds before March 20 to meet debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros, or suffer a chaotic default which could shake the entire euro zone, and probably force Greece out of the single currency.