The Greek Parliament approved another round of tough economic cuts and austerity measures Thursday to assure itself another installment payment of European bailout funds.
Greece may have again faced bankruptcy in July without the payment.
Greek pensioners take part in an anti-austerity rally, in Athens, May 18, 2017. New belt-tightening measures will be imposed beyond the end of Greece’s third bailout next year, including pension cuts and tax hikes.
More cuts for pensioners
All 153 lawmakers in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist coalition voted for the cuts; all 128 opposition members voted no.
More than 10,000 Greeks weary of the nation’s economic problems, including elderly pensioners facing more cuts, marched outside Parliament against the measures.
Several dozen young marchers wearing masks broke away from the crowd to throw gasoline bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.
Greece desperately needs about $8 billion of bailout money from its eurozone lenders in order to make a scheduled debt payment.
Tax hikes part of deal
In exchange, the government agreed to EU demands for more austerity measures, including tax hikes and programs aimed at easing poverty.
With Thursday’s vote, Greek officials hope they can renegotiate payment terms on the nation’s massive debt payment — nearly 180 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product. The International Monetary Fund calls this number unsustainable.
Greece has been relying on international bailouts since 2010, when the outgoing conservative government badly underreported the country’s debt.