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Greek Lawmakers Approve Budget Amid Deepened Austerity

Athens, December 9 (RHC)-- Greek lawmakers have adopted a tough budget for next year, endorsing more austerity measures, including further spending cuts of 3.1 billion Euros to try to put an end to the country's deep recession.
 
Over the weekend, the budget bill was approved by Greece's parliament, where the country's coalition government enjoys a narrow four-seat majority in the 300-seat chamber.
 
The adoption of the austerity budget comes as Greece's troika of international creditors -- the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF -- announced they will postpone until January a planned trip, effectively suspending the handover of a billion-euro tranche of loan money.
 
The troika has said that Greece's 2014 fiscal gap will exceed 1.5 billion Euros, but the Greek government estimates the sum at slightly more than 500 million Euros.  The government is under pressure from the troika to loosen a moratorium on home foreclosures, but such a measure is likely to be opposed by several ruling party lawmakers and could risk the cohesion of the conservative-socialist coalition.
 
The approval of the next year's budget forecasts an end to the recession that has gripped the country since 2008.  The budget is planned to end Greece's deep recession next year with 0.6 percent growth.
Edited by Juan Leandro
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