News 19 may — 17:35

Greek MPs vote in favor of new controversial reforms

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The Greek government approved additional austerity measures early Friday with 153 MPs voting in favor of the move, Anadolu Agency reports.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras supported the controversial bill that sparked outrage when it was introduced May 15 in the 300-member parliament.

Protests followed and public sector workers, including transport employees, seamen, hospital doctors and air traffic controllers engaged in a 48-hour work stoppage.

Tsipras lobbied for the bill’s passage just prior to the vote, telling opposition leaders the measures would help Greece free itself of financial constraints.

"The review is concluding and after seven whole years we are heading toward a comprehensive agreement to extricate the country from the memorandums,” he told lawmakers following a heated debate. “We are passing to a positive agenda for the country and society.”

Tsipras promised in 2015 to end memorandums and austerity but has now paved the way for additional pension cuts and cutbacks for Greek households in the coming years.

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