Greece′s parliament has approved tough economic
reform measures that are needed to secure a massive bailout from the eurozone.
But as our Han Da-eun reports,… the vote split the ruling Syriza party and was
held amid violent anti-austerity protests. ″229 lawmakers voted ′yes,′ 64 voted
′no′ and 6 abstained, therefore, the bill was passed by majority.″
The Greek parliament gave the green light to harsh austerity measures… early Thursday
local time,… opening the doors for talks with its eurozone partners to secure a new
bailout package of up to 86-billion euros. The measures passed include tax hikes and
an increase in the retirement age. Prior to the vote, Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras made a passionate appeal to parliament,… saying there was no other choice to avert
economic collapse. ″I will admit that the measures we are tabling
are harsh, and I don′t agree with them. I don′t believe they will help the Greek
economy, and I say so openly. But I also say that I must implement them. That is our
difference.″ But he failed to convince the hard-line
members of his own party,… as half of the ″no″ votes came from the ruling Syriza
party. Deputy finance minister and Syriza member
Nadia Valavani resigned in protest. Ahead of the vote, thousands of Greek citizens
took to the streets in Athens to protest the measures.
Police responded with tear gas as the demonstration turned violent.
Unions and trade associations representing public workers went on a 24-hour strike.
With the go-ahead from parliament, Greece and eurozone finance ministers have already
begun talks on the urgent matter of providing Greece with short-term loans… and setting
a schedule for further negotiations. Han Da-eun, Arirang News.