Greek Parliament OKs Austerity Budget

But Europe still hasn't settled on aid package
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 12, 2012 10:22 AM CST

(Newser) – Following the tight passage of an austerity package last week, Greece's parliament has approved a 2013 austerity budget. The budget, part of a plan to receive further foreign financing, passed by a margin of 167 to 128, the New York Times reports. It cuts salaries, pensions, and benefits by some $12 billion, raises taxes, and boosts the retirement age from 65 to 67; public sector workers' salaries will also shrink by a third. During the vote, some 20,000 protesters demonstrated outside parliament.

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The budget—with $17.2 billion in total cuts over two years—promises even tougher times for citizens of a country where one in five lives below the poverty line and unemployment is at 25%, the Atlantic Wire notes. "Greece has done its part; now it’s the turn of the lenders," said Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. But at a meeting today in Brussels, eurozone finance leaders won't be making a final call on Greek aid; the European Union and International Monetary Fund still haven't reached agreement on how much help Greece should get. A former European Central Bank official says it's time for Europe to step up and "find a solution"—but another economist tells CNBC he doubts Greece will stay in the eurozone next year. (Read more austerity measures stories.)

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