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Greece's parliament to vote on new austerity measures

Greece's parliament will today vote on a new set of austerity measures that are crucial if the country is to secure a 31.5bn euros financial aid package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Greek public and private sector workers began in a 48-hour general strike in protest of the prospect of further spending cuts.

Protesters shout slogans during an anti-austerity rally in front of the parliament in Athens on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

Empty streets in Athens as general strike begins

A guard outside the Parliament building Credit: EBU

The streets of Athens are empty as hundreds of thousands of Greeks begin a crippling 48-hour strike to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts that parliament will vote on tomorrow.

The strike, called by the two biggest labour unions in Greece who represent half the four million-strong workforce, brought public transport to a virtual standstill and shuttered schools, banks and local government offices.

Trains stand idle in Athens Credit: EBU

Wednesday's vote is the biggest test yet for the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which needs victory to secure aid from foreign lenders but has failed to convince its smallest coalition partner and the public to back the reforms.

The Metro in Athens is closed Credit: APTN
Gates and shutters are closed across Greece today Credit: EBU

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