Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, June 2011
Greeks Escalate Protests Against Austerity Bill Reaching Early Revolution Stage
June 29, 2011
The intensity of the Greek protests against their corrupt government has been escalated to reach the early stage of revolution, by clashing with police forces. If these protests continue after passing the bill, the revolution enters the second stage, joining the Spring of their Arab cousins.
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Parliament approves crucial austerity package
The Greek parliament voted Wednesday to approve a key austerity bill, paving the way for a second round of bailout funds from the EU and the IMF. Embattled Prime Minister George Papandreou has vowed not to let Greece default.
By News Wires (text)
AFP - Greek lawmakers voted Wednesday to approve a massive new austerity package demanded by international creditors, amid violent clashes between protesters and police firing tear gas outside the parliament.
An AFP count gave Prime Minister George Papandreou's government the 151 votes it needed to push through measures to save 28.4 billion euros ($40 billion) by 2015, and so unlock emergency finance from the EU and the IMF.
Papandreou had pledged in the moments before voting to do everything possible to avoid "the collapse of this country," with the plans deemed essential to prevent default on its 350-billion-euro debt mountain.
The Greek austerity measures explained
The Greek parliament is poised to approve a stinging new round of austerity measures designed to bring the cash strapped country back from the brink of bankruptcy.
By FRANCE 24 (text)
Greece needs to make budget cuts of almost 30 billion euros to qualify for a second bailout package worth some 100 billion euros from the IMF and the EU. The measures have been put before parliament, which must approve the measure by the close of play Wednesday.
The first bailout worth 110 billion euros came after a round of harsh austerity measures imposed in May 2010.
The harshness of the cuts has resulted in discontent spilling out onto the streets, with a 48-hour general strike continuing on Wednesday. The protesters are calling for Prime Minister George Papandreou to abandon these further budget cuts.
Here is a brief breakdown of what the cuts would involve:
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