Greek rebel lawmakers may block austerity
(Reuters) – A top Greek minister warned that rebel lawmakers may yet block reforms demanded by international lenders, even though parliament should back an overall austerity package in the coming week to prevent the nation going bankrupt.
Adding to the Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou’s dire problems, the conservative opposition rejected on Sunday appeals from the government and senior European Union politicians to do its duty and support the medium-term plan.
Parliament is due to start debating on Monday the program of tax increases and spending cuts worth 28 billion euros over five years. Papandreou needs parliamentary approval this week to secure the next payment under a 110-billion euro ($156 billion) EU/IMF bailout.
In an interview published on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Theodor Pangalos was optimistic about winning the first round of general votes on tax and spending targets plus the creation of a privatization agency, despite discontent within his PASOK party.
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