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Greece To Debate Austerity Package

A banner in front of the Greek parliament during a rally against austerity measures in Athens
Parliament in Greece begins debate today on a deeply unpopular austerity plan.
The IMF and EU say Greece must approve the 28 billion-euro ($40 billion) package of tax increases and spending cuts to get the next installment of a 110 billion-euro bailout.
Athens says it needs the 12 million euros to pay its bills next month to avert the threat of bankruptcy.
Prime Minister George Papandreou is relying on his small majority in parliament to get the package passed.
A vote is expected June 29.
Hundreds of demonstrators, meanwhile, remained in Syntagma Square outside the Greek parliament late on June 26, angry at the prospect of more painful cuts after three years of deep recession.
Polls show three-quarters of Greece's 11 million people oppose the measures.
Greece's powerful unions have called a two-day national strike from June 28 to ratchet up pressure on the government.
compiled from agency reports