Greek parliament adopts unpopular austerity budget

Greek lawmakers voted in favor of an austerity package on Wednesday as protests against the unpopular policy gain momentum in the country.

It was approved by the majority of 155 lawmakers in the 300-seat legislature, with 138 “no” votes.

The package includes tax increases and spending cuts, intended to attract an additional 28 billion euro ($40 billion) to the budget until 2015.

The program also envisages a major privatization program, which the government hopes will fetch up to 50 billion euro ($72 billion).

The measures are deemed crucial to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. Greece’s total debt has ballooned to $490 billion and the country may default on it as early as next month.

The new measures were drawn up to meet European Union and International Monetary Fund conditions for further bailout support, after a 110-billion-euro rescue last year.

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