Greek lawmakers pass new austerity law despite violent protests

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Despite protests where one person was killed, Greek lawmakers voted to pass a new budget-cutting law. The result was 154 in favour to 144 against. The new law would bring in tax hikes and wage cuts.

The law, unpopular with the public, aims to reduce Greece's enormous national debt, which currently stands at 162% of the country's GDP.

Despite a peaceful start to the protest, violent skirmishes erupted between police and some of the protesters. Tear gas was fired, but "these measures are so tough that we won't be scared by a little bit of tear gas," said civil engineer Yiorgos Lenas, 29. "People can't take it anymore."

A 53 year old man, a member of the PAME workers' union, died of a cardiac arrest after participating in the protest.