Greece approves austerity bill as violence spreads throughout the country

Unpopular Plan to Secure Bailout approved as Rioting Grips Athens

ATHENS— Early this morning, under heavy guard from riot police, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country, the Greek Parliament, defying tens of thousands of people massed in the streets of the capital, approved a deeply unpopular package of spending and wage cuts to secure a second European Union /International Monetary Fund bailout.

While protests raged in the streets, the Greek Parliament, by a 199-74 vote, approved another round of austerity measures, to avoid national bankruptcy.

The package, which includes deep cuts in government spending, wages and pensions, will help pave the way for eurozone finance ministers to sign off on the new €130 billion ($172.6 billion) bailout deal. Greece needs the funds to meet €14.5 billion in debt repayments due next month.

The bailout deal, which would result in significant losses for bondholders, is intended to help reduce Greece’s debts to 120% of Gross Domestic Product by 2020, from about 160% currently.