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Greece crisis: Greek MPs in second austerity vote
Athens, Jun 30 (AGENCIES):
Published on 30 Jun. 2011 10:45 PM IST
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Greece’s parliament is holding a second vote on its austerity programme, which it needs to implement to secure the country further financial support.
The vote is about putting into practice the tax hikes, pay cuts, privatisations and public sector redundancies approved in principle on Wednesday. The vote was a retreat from the “grave scenario of default”, the EU said.
After hours of discussing the measures, MPs started voting shortly after 1600 (1300 GMT); it is not clear how many votes will need to be held to push the bill through.
Clashes continued on Syntagma (Constitution) Square outside parliament overnight, as police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths.
Calm now appears to have returned and the BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Athens says the city’s street-cleaning crews have come out in force removing debris from two days of battles in the square. Police have restricted access to the city centre to prevent demonstrators from obstructing members of parliament heading to vote on the new law.
Some Athenians have accused the police of heavy-handed tactics, and newspapers have railed against what one called “an orgy of state terror”, our correspondent says.
Some accused the police of over-using tear gas.
Scores of people were treated for injuries and severe breathing problems.
Government officials say they are confident that those who supported them in Wednesday’s vote, when the package was approved in principle by 155 votes to 138, would also vote for implementation, known as enabling legislation.

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