June 30, 2011
Greece has cleared the way for fresh international financial aid to avert a damaging default after its government won a second, decisive parliamentary vote on implementing sweeping austerity measures.
George Papandreou, socialist prime minister, on Thursday secured approval for fast track implementation of €28bn ($40.6bn) in tax increases and spending cuts demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Following Wednesday’s initial vote in favour of the measures, the way is open for payment of €12bn in international aid in July and a deal on a second bail-out plan to replace a €110bn package put in place a year ago.
The government won by 155 votes to 136. A defeat would have revived worries about the stability of the eurozone.
Thursday’s debate took place without a repeat of Wednesday’s violent protests in the Athens streets, which saw stone-throwing demonstrators clash with police firing tear gas, although the police remained on standby for further trouble.