Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Plan

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The Greek Parliament finally consented to Prime Minister George Papandreou's package of austerity measures - the only factor standing in the way of Greece receiving the $17 billion from the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund that it needed to survive the summer without defaulting. The 155 to 138 vote approved tax increases, wage cuts, and the privatization of 50 billion euros, or about $72 billion, in state assets. However, many are concerned that the measure will not be enough, but a second bailout is in the works for the July 3rd meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels. The bill was met with outrage as thousands of residents protested in the streets, turning violent at some points and prompting the police to release tear gas (Donadio).

If Parliament failed to approve these measures, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund vowed to withhold the next installment of funds from the financial bailout that began last year. Without the austerity plan, Greece faced a deepened recession, heightened unemployment, and crumbling living standards. In their current state, Greece is unable to raise money in the private market and will not be able to pay its bills without

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