Greece passes job cuts bill

Greece's coalition government has voted through a bill to sack around 25,000 public sector workers as thousands chanting anti-austerity slogans protested outside parliament.

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Greece passes bill to sack raft of public sector workers

Greece's coalition government scraped through a vote late on Wednesday on a bill to sack public sector workers as thousands chanting anti-austerity slogans protested outside parliament.

The vote was the first major test for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's two-party coalition since losing an ally over the closure of the state broadcaster last month, which left it with a small five-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament.

After midnight on Wednesday, 153 lawmakers out of the 293 present voted in favour of the bill, whose passage was required to unlock nearly 7 billion euros (£6 billion) in aid from European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders.

The bill includes deeply divisive plans for a transfer and layoff scheme for 25,000 public workers - mainly teachers and police - that had triggered a week of almost daily marches, rallies and strikes in protest.

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