Sun February 12, 2012
Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Bill
The Associated Press is reporting that the Greek Parliament has approved a crucial austerity and debt-relief bill to keep the country out of bankruptcy and remain a part of the eurozone.
From the AP:
Lawmakers voted early Monday in favor of the bill that imposes harsh new austerity measures in return for a euro130 billion ($171 billion) new bailout agreement and related deal with private creditors to shave euro100 billion ($132 billion) off the country's national debt.
The vote occurred after extensive rioting and looting swept through the Greek capital.
The New York Times says many lawmakers grudgingly voted for the bill:
Addressing Parliament shortly before a crucial vote, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos stressed that rejection of the bill would plunge the country into bankruptcy. He appealed to lawmakers to do their "patriotic duty" and make the "most significant strategic choice a Greek government has faced in decades."
Still, he acknowledged that the program was "tough and calls for sacrifices from a broad range of citizens who have already made sacrifices."