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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Greek wait for cash goes on despite austerity vote

The approval of the austerity bill, which will further cut salaries and pensions and increase taxes, was the key step towards persuading Greece's international creditors to release the next €31.5 billion ($40.2 billion) installment of the country's vital bailout loans.

After the budget vote, which is scheduled for Sunday, the release of the funds still hinges on a report by the so-called troika of debt inspectors from the European Union, IMF and European Central bank.

Thursday's vote in favor of the €13.5 billion austerity package came at a cost for the fragile three-party coalition government.

Lawmakers voted 153-128 for the package, hours after more than 80,000 protesters demonstrated outside in Athens — some fighting running battles with riot police.

[...] there was also dissent in those ranks, with seven lawmakers expelled for failing to back the measures, and an eighth saying he was leaving the Socialists to continue as an independent member of parliament.

[...] the government is not in imminent threat as the third party, the Democratic Left, which abstained from the austerity vote, insists it will continue as a coalition member.