The Straits Times
Published on Nov 11, 2012

Greece faces another key test with budget vote


ATHENS (AFP) - Greece's government faces another test on Sunday when lawmakers vote on the 2013 budget, just days after narrowly passing a new austerity package to unlock more international aid and avoid default.

Lawmakers began debating the budget on Saturday, as several hundred civil servants demonstrated outside parliament against plans to reduce their numbers by some 125,000 by 2016 as part of the latest austerity package.

Trades unions have called another demonstration outside parliament for Sunday.

The package includes 18.5 billion euros (S$29.5 billion) of cuts and labour reforms. It was passed in the face of social unrest in a country that is facing a sixth year of recession amid soaring unemployment that reached 25.1 percent in July.