ATHENS, Greece – Greek lawmakers have granted initial approval to a new austerity bill whose spending cuts and tax hikes have sparked fury on the streets of Athens.
The bill received a 154-141 vote late Wednesday. A second vote on the bill's articles will be held Thursday in the 300-member Parliament. Only after that vote will the bill have passed.
Before the vote, riots broke out in central Athens during a demonstration by about 100,000 people on the first of a two-day general strike to protest the bill. The measures include new tax hikes, further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants and the suspension of collective labor contracts.