CNN, WALL STREET JOURNAL (USA), BBC NEWS (UK), LES ECHOS (France)
ATHENS - The Greek parliament early Thursday adopted a new round of austerity measures that are required for Greece to receive the next installment of a crucial international economic bailout, reports CNN.
The new set of cuts was approved by 153 lawmakers, with 128 opposed the measure, and 18 abstentions. As Greece is heading for a sixth consecutive year of recession, further austerity has unleashed anger among Greeks, reports BBC News.
More than 70,000 people took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday, and clashed with the police as lawmakers prepared to vote.
Its supporters, however, say these new measures were needed for the payout of the next international bailout installment of 31.5 billion euros (about $40.2 billion), which the government desperately needs to stay in operation.
(Greek Parliament in Athens - George Voudouris)
Last month, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned the country would run out of money by mid-November and descend "into chaos" if it did not receive the new installment.
A vote Sunday on the 2013 budget will also be decisive if Greece wants to secure the bailout funds. Most observers believe the new budget will pass.
The austerity bill sets out reforms and fiscal measures worth 13.5 billion euros over the next two years. It is expected to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 and cut pensions on average between 5% and 15%.
Some workers from the public sector will lose as much as 30% of their salaries.
According to French business daily Les Echos, labor deregulation should also affect lawyers and engineers.
European stocks rose early Thursday, buoyed by corporate earnings news and the passage of a Greek austerity bill. All core equity markets were trading higher this morning but Greece's ASE Composite was down 0.9%, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The euro was little changed against the dollar. "The euro/dollar stabilized overnight, helped by the Greek austerity vote, but it is clear that there are still major problems in Greece reaching a solvent situation," said Lloyds Banking Wholesale Banking & Markets, in a note to clients.