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Update: Greek Parliament OKs Austerity Package; Protests Resume

A wounded protester is led away from clashes with riot police in Athens earlier today (June 29, 2011). i i

A wounded protester is led away from clashes with riot police in Athens earlier today (June 29, 2011). Thanassis Stavrakis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
A wounded protester is led away from clashes with riot police in Athens earlier today (June 29, 2011).

A wounded protester is led away from clashes with riot police in Athens earlier today (June 29, 2011).

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

Update at 9:09 a.m. ET. Package Passed: "Greece's lawmakers have approved a key austerity bill, paving the way for the country to get its next vital bailout loans that will prevent it from defaulting next month," The Associated Press just reported.

Our original post — "Greek Parliament Expected To Pass Austerity Package; Protests Resume":

"It's likely to pass, but by a narrow margin," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli, reporting from Athens, just said on Morning Edition about the $40 billion austerity package that the Greek parliament is to vote on this hour.

Financial markets seem to agree: "Hopes that Greece will enact an unpopular set of austerity measures to prevent the country from defaulting on its massive debts sent world stocks higher Wednesday," The Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, as the BBC writes, "crowds have again gathered outside [the Greek] parliament, on the second day of a 48-hour general strike against the cuts. They say the measures will unfairly affect the less well-off. Many protesters were wearing face masks, expecting police to use tear gas as they did on Tuesday."

What if the Greek parliament rejects the austerity measures, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep asked Syliva earlier?

Steve Inskeep speaks with Sylvia Poggioli

"The government says it will run out of money by mid-July," said Sylvia, unless it receives a $17 billion infusion of cash from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, which is contingent on passage of the austerity package.

"That would mean ... default on Greece's $467 billion debt," she said. "But nobody really knows what will happen because it's not only a Greek crisis, but a European crisis. ... There's an enormous fear that a Greek default would have a contagious effect in Ireland and Portugal, which are also heavily indebted. And the victims won't be just countries, but also the major financial institutions in Europe and primarily French and German banks." Then, the problems might spread even further.

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