Greece’s Parliament approved a package of austerity measures Wednesday, a key step toward getting a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and European Union in order to avoid defaulting on its debts next month.
The five-year plan is aimed at shrinking the government’s spending gap through a series of spending cuts and tax hikes, totaling 28 billion euros ($40 billion). On Thursday, lawmakers are expected to adopt a second austerity bill necessary to receive the next 12 billion euro installment in its emergency loans.
Protesters opposed to the austerity moves congregated outside Parliament, some throwing rocks and setting trash cans ablaze. They clashed with riot police tossing tear gas and non-lethal stun grenades to control the crowds.
GlobalPost explains the Greek debt problem.
Spiegel Online has an in-depth look at European Union governments’ austerity measures.