Greece Approves 2013 Austerity State Budget
The vote on budget 2013 was seen as a test of confidence in the three-party coalition of PM Antonis Samaras, who is trying to lead Greece out of the debt crisis and ongoing recession. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The Greek Parliament has approved the 2013 austerity State budget.
This move is seen as an important step in the country's effort to convince international creditors (EU/IMF) to grant the crucial bailout of EUR 31.5 B to prevent Greece's bankruptcy.
In Athens, more than 10 000 people protested outside the Parliament.
The vote comes as Eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss the Greek crisis at a meeting in Brussels.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who is due to attend the summit, earlier warned that without the new loan, Athens would start running out of money within days.
Samaras pledged before the Greek people that this would be the last sacrifice they will have to endure.
The new budget foresees a deepening of the worst recession of any country in modern history, the BBC correspondent in Athens reports.
The national economy is expected to shrink next year by 4.5% and public debt is likely to rise to 189% of GDP, almost double Greece's national output. This year, public debt stood at 175%.
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