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Greek Parliament approves bailout plan

greeceGreece’s parliament backed the government’s reform plan containing austerity measures to win a third bailout early Saturday, but with the government suffering significant losses from dissenting lawmakers.

The motion, which sought to authorize the government to use the proposal as a basis for negotiation with international creditors during the weekend, passed with 251 votes in favor, 32 against and 8 voting ‘ present’ _ a form of abstention _ in the 300-member parliament.

Those who voted ‘ present’ or were absent, as well as two of those who voted against, were members of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left-wing Syriza party _ raising questions about the stability of his government.

The dissenters included two ministers _ Panagiotis Lafazanis who holds the energy portfolio and Dimitris Stratoulis who holds the social security portfolio _ and prominent party member and Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou.

” I support the government but I don’t support an austerity program of neoliberal deregulation and privatizations which … would prolong the vicious circle of recession, poverty and misery,” Lafazanis said in a statement released to the press explaining his ” radical and categorical” objection to the proposal.

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