Herald Sun



GREECE has gone cap in hand to its Euro­pean lenders for new emer­gency fund­ing af­ter push­ing a harsh aus­ter­ity pack­age through par­lia­ment.

Hun­dreds of anti-aus­ter­ity de­mon­stra­tors amid a 12,000strong throng clashed with riot po­lice in cen­tral Athens af­ter Greece’s par­lia­ment voted 229-64 early yesterday to in­stall sweep­ing sales tax hikes and pen­sion cuts.

Eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters were to hold a con­fer­ence call yesterday to con­sider res­cue fi­nanc­ing for Greece, while the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank mulled a re­quest from Athens to in­crease aid to Greek banks, which have been closed since June 29.

Greece’s left-wing Gov­ern­ment ad­mit­ted it faced a “se­ri­ous di­vi­sion” within its se­nior ranks af­ter 38 mem­bers of the rul­ing Syriza party de­fied Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras to vote against the re­forms.

The Gov­ern­ment in­di­cated dis­senters in Mr Tsipras’ Cab­i­net would be swiftly re­placed in a front­bench reshuf­fle. The ma­jor­ity of the “yes” votes came from Greece’s pro-Euro­pean op­po­si­tion par­ties.

Mr Tsipras said he had lit­tle choice other than to ac­cept the harsh terms of­fered by lenders for the new three-year bailout worth €85 bil­lion ($128 bil­lion).

“We had a very spe­cific choice: a deal we largely dis­agreed with, or a chaotic de­fault,” he told par­lia­ment.

Par­lia­ment speaker Zoe Kon­stan­topoulou slammed the deal as a prod­uct of black­mail, de­scrib­ing the ad­di­tional poverty it would cause as an act of “so­cial geno­cide”.

Greece faces a Mon­day dead­line to re­pay €4.2 bil­lion to the ECB and is also in ar­rears on a €2 bil­lion loan to the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. Ne­go­ti­a­tions on the new bailout will take four weeks. Euro­pean fi­nance min­is­ters are scram­bling to find ways to get Athens some money sooner.

 ??  ?? Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras yesterday.
Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras yesterday.

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