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Greek MPs to Vote on Austerity Measures

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TEHRAN, June 27 (ICANA) – The Greek parliament will put to vote new austerity measures to secure the latest tranche of financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Monday, June 27, 2011 8:27:58 PM
Greek MPs to Vote on Austerity Measures

The deeply unpopular cuts and sell-offs are expected to be discussed and voted on in the parliament on Wednesday and Thursday and if passed, the bill would come into force the following day.

It would trigger the release of EUR 12 billion (USD 17 billion) to Greece from the EU and the IMF.

Prime Minister George Papandreou's Socialist party has a five-seat majority in the 300-member parliament, which means the bill is likely to be approved.

The prime minister, however, faces opposition from within his own Socialist ranks. Two of his deputies have said they might oppose the bill.

Unions have called a two-day national strike starting on Tuesday, according to the state-run BBC.

"We want to show to all the people of Europe and Greece that people don't surrender to the desires of the monopolies, multinational corporations, big capital, the government, the IMF and the EU," said activist Giorgos Peros.

The Greek cabinet approved the new austerity budget plan on Wednesday to help ease its huge public debt despite massive protests in the country.

On Monday, the Greek parliament began deliberations on the unpopular austerity plan.

Without passage of the measures, the EU and the IMF will block payment of the fifth tranche of Greece's EUR 110 billion bailout program.

Athens needs the disbursement to pay its bills next month and avert the euro zone's first sovereign default.

According to polls, three-quarters of Greece's population of 11 million are opposed to the austerity measures.

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