Greece approves more austerity measures in bailout bid

German Chancellor campaigns in German Federal State Schleswig-Holstein
Greece approves more austerity measures in bailout bid
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20 May, 2017

A protester burns a left-wing Syriza party flag outside the Greek Parliament during a rally against new austerity measures in Athens, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Relief measures will only kick in if Greece meets fiscal targets stipulated by its creditors.

The reforms will include additional pension cuts in 2019 and higher income tax from 2020.

Greek police fired teargas at anti-austerity protesters rallying outside parliament in Athens on Thursday as lawmakers debated further spending cuts demanded by the country's global lenders in exchange for bailout funds.

Over 10,000 people gathered outside the Parliament building in Athens, in mostly peaceful protests at the austerity politics, but several broke away to throw the petrol bombs at the building.

On Wednesday, at least 18,000 people demonstrated in Athens and the second city Thessaloniki in union-sponsored protests against the bill.

The protests came a day after a general strike disrupted services across the country. Police responded with tear gas and pepper spray.

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More than 10,000 Greeks tired of the nation's economic problems, including elderly pensioners facing more cuts, marched outside Parliament against the measures.

"No more tax theft", they chanted. Seamen were participating with a four-day strike that began Tuesday, leaving ferries servicing the Greek islands and mainland tied up in port until Friday. Athens hopes the disbursement of 7 billion euros from existing bailout loans will be approved by a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on May 22.

His government was soon faced by default and a run on banks, and later in that year he signed up to a third bailout.

In order to offset public disapproval of austerity, the government also passed legislation for so-called countermeasures, including housing benefits for vulnerable households, school meals and reduced medicine costs for pensioners.

Greece's parliament has approved a new package of austerity measures needed to release the next instalment of its multi-billion-dollar bailout, BBC News reports.

Unions and the opposition have compared the new reforms to those of a fourth bailout, but without the corresponding funding from worldwide creditors.

"You've become the best advertisement for austerity in Europe", opposition Conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, addressing Tsipras.


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