Greek MPs last night voted in favour of a controversial austerity bill as rioters again took to the streets and set buildings alight.
The punishing cuts to wages and pensions are fiercely stoking tensions in the near-bankrupt country.
Yet if the bill was not passed, Greece would have been denied a £110billion EU bailout package and finally run out of money.
During a stormy debate, MPs said the country faced a grim choice between bankruptcy through leaving the euro or approving the bailout and suffering years of hardship.
Prior to the vote, five ministers had quit and the prime minister warned Greece was just a ‘breath away from Ground Zero’.
Lucas Papademos warned that any rejection of the deal would lead to ‘uncontrollable economic chaos and social explosion’. Despite his words, thousands took to the streets urging the MPs to reject the cuts bill. They were greeted by almost 4,000 riot police and the two sides fought battles.
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Athens ablaze as Greece votes in favour of £110bn bailout (15),