Greece Approves Cuts Amid Violent Protests

ATHENS—Greek lawmakers narrowly passed a package of austerity measures Thursday, as second day of strikes and violent protests over the package convulsed the country and further weakened the ruling Socialist party.

In a final vote late Thursday, Greece’s Parliament approved the measures by a vote of 154 in favor and 144 against. But the vote came at a cost to the Socialist government, which saw its slender parliamentary majority narrowed further after expelling a rebel lawmaker for not toeing the party line.

The vote came as tens of thousands of people gathered outside the Parliament building to denounce the austerity …


Greece Approves Cuts Amid Violent Protests

ATHENS—Greek lawmakers narrowly passed a package of austerity measures Thursday, as second day of strikes and violent protests over the package convulsed the country and further weakened the ruling Socialist party.

In a final vote late Thursday, Greece’s Parliament approved the measures by a vote of 154 in favor and 144 against. But the vote came at a cost to the Socialist government, which saw its slender parliamentary majority narrowed further after expelling a rebel lawmaker for not toeing the party line.

The vote came as tens of thousands of people gathered outside the Parliament building to denounce the austerity …


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Air travel hit by Greek riots

DOZENS of travellers bound for Athens were stranded in Bahrain for the second time in two weeks yesterday, due to a general strike in Greece. Gulf Air had to cancel its flight to the Greek capital as a result of the strike, meaning more than 70 passengers had to stay in Bahrain overnight.

They are now due to depart today, a spokesman for the national carrier told the GDN.

He said Gulf Air was putting on a larger plane to accommodate them and other passengers already booked onto today’s flight from Bahrain to Greece, which is expected to leave on schedule.

“We hope to carry the new passengers as well as those who were unable to travel yesterday,” he said.

He also said Tuesday’s flight from Bahrain to Greece had operated normally.

Air traffic controllers in Greece had announced a 12-hour work stoppage for yesterday as a two-day general strike got underway, forcing airlines to scrap or reschedule several flights.

Greek police and demonstrators clashed as more than 125,000 protesters flooded Athens and other Greek cities yesterday to express anger at austerity measures designed to fend off bankruptcy.

The largest turnout was in Athens where more than 70,000 people converged on central Syntagma Square, where parliament is located, while other large protests were held in Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion, police said.

Authorities in Athens threw a cordon of riot police buses and a steel fence in front of parliament and shut down two metro train stations in the area, with reports saying youngsters had been arrested with firebombs.

A new austerity bill due to be voted today includes collective wage amendments, a new civil service salary system and temporary layoffs for thousands of public sector staff in Greece.

Gulf Air passengers travelling from Bahrain to Athens were also stranded here on October 5 due to a nationwide strike in Greece.

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