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Greece approves more austerity measures in bailout bid

PanArmenian.Net - Friday 19th May, 2017

PanARMENIAN.Net - Greece's parliament has approved a new package of austerity measures needed to release the next instalment of its multi-billion-dollar bailout, BBC News reports.

The tax rises and further cuts to pensions were sought by Greece's foreign creditors. As MPs voted, anti-austerity protesters clashed with police in central Athens.

Eurozone finance ministers meet on Monday, May 22 to decide if Greece has done enough to receive a euro;7.5bn ($8.3bn) loan plus debt relief.

Speaking after the vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece had met its commitments on reforms and now expected lenders to agree to debt relief.

"It's their [the lenders'] turn to fulfil their commitments, just like we did," he told reporters.

"We deserve and we expect from Monday's Eurogroup a decision regulating debt relief which will correspond to the sacrifices of the Greek people."

About 10,000 people took part in the protests outside parliament, with a small group breaking away to confront police.

Hooded youths threw petrol bombs at officers who responded with tear gas.

Figures released earlier this week showed that Greece had fallen back into recession for the first time since 2012.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.1% in the first three months of the year after shrinking by 1.2% in the final quarter of 2016, the Eurostat figures showed.

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