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Fresh clashes ahead of Greek vote

Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early Wednesday, several hours before the Greek parliament was to vote on an austerity package.

world Updated: Jun 29, 2011 12:05 IST

Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early Wednesday, several hours before the Greek parliament was to vote on an austerity package.

The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro ($40.8 billion) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone.

The vote is eagerly awaited by other debt-ridden eurozone countries fearing dangerous knock-on effects.

The new measures were drawn up to meet European Union and International Monetary Fund conditions for further bailout support, after a 110-billion-euro rescue last year.

If passed, these creditors could -- as early as Sunday -- authorise 12 billion euros in blocked funds needed to stave off bankruptcy for the Athens government when massive repayments fall due in mid-July.

On Tuesday, police fired tear gas on protestors on the first day of a 48-hour general strike against the belt-tightening package.