May 6th, 2010
12:19 PM ET

Greek lawmakers vote for austerity measures

Greek lawmakers Thursday approved a controversial package of cost-cutting measures which international funders demanded, despite public anger about the move, state television reported.

The vote was 172 in favor, 121 against, and three abstentions, all from Prime Minister George Papandreou's governing party, PASOK.

Greeks have been demonstrating against the measures for days. Three bank employees were killed Wednesday when a fire bomb hit their bank during a protest.

Thousands of demonstrators were out on the streets Thursday as the vote was taking place, but the protest was largely peaceful, CNN's Diana Magnay reported from the scene.

The austerity plan includes cuts in the salaries of public-sector workers, including lawmakers; higher taxes on cigarettes, fuel, gambling and luxuries; an increase in the value-added tax consumers pay on purchases; and an increase in the retirement age for women in the public sector, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said.

The European Union announced a 110-billion-euro ($145 billion) aid package for Greece earlier this week.

Papaconstantinou announced the tough cost-cutting measures to meet European Union and International Monetary Fund conditions for the deal.

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Filed under: Economy • Greece • World
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