Political unrest continues in Greece
ATHENS, Greece - June 29, 2011 (WPVI) -- It was a close one, but it passed.
With 155 votes out of 300, the Greek Parliament passed a deeply unpopular $40 billion austerity package that will mean deep spending cuts and higher taxes for Greeks.
Outside of the Parliament building, demonstrators made it clear how they felt with widespread clashes for the second day in a row, amid a two-day general strike.
Riot police were taunted and pelted with rocks, orange smoke grenades, and Molotov cocktails while they responded with waves of tear gas and stun grenades.
It's not just austerity measures that have infuriated the crowd but a proposed $70 billion to privatize state assets like airports, railways, and gold mines.
These measures are necessary for Greece to continue getting billions in international bailout money. They are also crucial for the country to avoid defaulting on its debts and dragging down the European and global economies.
"You have to take into consideration a very sad reality. The Greek government is not governing Greeks anymore. Greece is being governed by the European Union," said economist Yanis Yaroufakis.
Wednesday's vote is just the first step on a long and uncertain road to recovery for Greece, one that will take years and will likely see more violent days in the future.
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