Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Greek Parliament agrees to further austerity measures--Avoids default for now

Today, the Greek Parliament by a vote of 155 to 138 accepted a package of austerity measures the European Union was demanding in return for lending Greece $17 billion it needs to pay its expenses through the summer.

Greece avoids a default on its debt for now.

NY Times reports:

Investors had feared that a collapse in Greece might have repercussions throughout the international financial system. Two other European Union countries — Ireland and Portugal — have also turned to international lenders for assistance.

Only one member of the ruling Socialist Party voted against the measure, and one opposition deputy voting crossed party lines to support the measure. (Five others voted present, and two members were absent.)

The measures approved include tax increases, wage cuts and the privatization of 50 billion euros, or about $72 billion, in state assets. A second vote will be held Thursday to enact the measures, with crucial sticking points expected to include the timing of the privatizations, especially of the state electric utility, the Public Power Corporation, whose powerful union has close ties to the Socialists.

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