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Greek Parliament Approves 2012 Austerity Budget

Greek riot police duck as a Molotov cocktail thrown by youths explodes in front of the parliament building in Athens on December 6, with a vote pending on the austerity budget.
Greek lawmakers have approved an austerity budget for 2012 through an extension of sharp spending cuts and tax increases with the aim of helping the country reduce its massive debts and pull itself out of recession.

The budget, backed by members of the Socialist, conservative, and far-right nationalist factions, was passed early on December 7 by a 258-41 majority in the 300-seat parliament.

The Greek government is currently surviving on billions of euros of international rescue loans that have been agreed in exchange for budget cuts and tax increases demanded by the European Union.

The EU is seeking to prevent the collapse of the euro, which is used by 17 EU member states, including Greece.

compiled from agency reports