Posted: Nov 8, 2012 7:30 AM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece has passed a deeply unpopular new austerity package that should ensure it gets its hands on vital bailout cash that will prevent it from going bankrupt.
The cost to the fragile governing coalition has been high though.
Lawmakers voted 153-128 for the package of spending cuts and tax increases in the vote early today, hours after more than 80,000 protesters demonstrated outside.
But only two of the three parties in the coalition backed the €31.5 billion ($40.2 billion) package. And even those two parties suffered dissent. Seven of their lawmakers were expelled after failing to back the measures.
The vote means Greece is on course to get its next batch of bailout cash. Without it, the government has said the country will run out of money Nov. 16.
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