By Ria Novosti
The Greek parliament passed early on Thursday a highly unpopular austerity bill that ensures continued funding from the country’s international lenders.
The bill envisions 13.5 billion euros in spending cuts as well as tax hikes and labor reforms by 2016 in order to secure a new 31.5-billion-euro bailout tranche from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
The austerity package presented the biggest challenge to the fragile three-party coalition government, as Greece risked running out of money on November 16 to pay its huge debts.
Up to 100,000 people gathered outside the parliament building on Wednesday night to protest against the austerity measures.
The rally turned violent when the protesters started throwing fire bombs and stones at riot police, who dispersed the crowds with tear gas and water cannons.
According to media reports, at least five protesters and seven police officers were injured in clashes that continued for three hours despite the pouring rain. Over a hundred protesters were detained.