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Greek government wins confidence motion, but will tough austerity plan go through?

In Photos: Thousands protest austerity plans as Greek government passes key vote.

Greek riot police tackling protesters in Athens early this morning.
Greek riot police tackling protesters in Athens early this morning.
Image: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

THE GREEK government has survived a key confidence vote by a margin of by 155 votes to 143, paving the way for Prime Minister Papandreou to introduce a range of austerity measures being pushed by the EU.

EU finance ministers put pressure on Greece by deciding at this week’s two-day summit to withhold the next €12bn batch of Greece’s bailout funds until certain austerity measures are introduced.

The austerity measures aim to cut €28bn from the Greek budget, increase tax revenue and sell state assets, and the country’s international creditors want them passed by the end of this month. Although Papandreou must convince members of his own Socialist Party to support the cuts, his government’s success in the confidence motion suggests they will have enough support to push the measures through.

Greek government wins confidence motion, but will tough austerity plan go through?
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  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • Greek protests

    (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Thousands of people have been protesting in Athens over the austerity plans and further general strikes are threatened. Protester Callope Iris told the BBC that she and many others are also demonstrating against “the entire political system which we think is corrupt”.

Greek default could drag down not only other vulnerable EU states, but the entire eurozone and beyond. The IMF warned this week that Greece could cause a second global financial downturn, if its crisis is not resolved in a timely manner.

Papandreou indicated at the weekend that Greece will require a second bailout of a similar size to the the €110bn fund previously agreed.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Here’s how a new deal on EU bailouts could help Ireland escape a second one

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