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Greek parliament passes austerity bill

 The Greek parliament has passed an austerity package by a slim majority to slash $40bn off the national debt.

Wednesday's vote saw 155 members of parliament vote in favour, 138 against and 5 abstentions.

The package of taxes, spending cuts and privatisations has angered many Greeks, with thousands taking to the streets as part of a 48-hour national strike protesting against the bill.

Parliament will hold a second vote on Thursday aimed at changing a law allowing the measures to be implemented.

George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has said the second bailout will be roughly equal a previous package last year.

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