Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Bill Needed to Open Bailout Negotiations

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Greece's Parliament has approved an austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors, despite a significant level of dissent from the governing leftist Syriza party.

The bill to impose sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts was approved with the support of three pro-European opposition parties.

Several prominent members of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' ruling party voted against his recommendation, including Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Eurozone rescue lenders demanded the fresh round of cuts in a deal reached this week to place Greece in a new bailout program.

Dissenters argued that Greeks could not face any more cuts after six years of recession that saw a sharp rise in poverty and unemployment.

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