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How the Greeks Accepted New Austerity

A squeaker in Parliament means the Greeks have to swallow more cuts
Spectators wait outside the Greek parliament on Syntagma square during the second day of a 48-hour general strike in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012
Spectators wait outside the Greek parliament on Syntagma square during the second day of a 48-hour general strike in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012Photograph by Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Greece’s coalition government, formed five months ago, never expected a honeymoon period. After a fractious vote on a new round of austerity measures in Parliament on Wednesday, it knows it is involved in a grim battle for survival. The three-party administration narrowly won the ballot, collecting just 153 of the 300 votes despite having 177 MPs ahead of the vote.

The result means that the structural reforms and spending cuts the European Union and International Monetary Fund asked to be implemented over the next two years have passed into law. This should persuade Greece’s lenders to release more bailout funding, but that will not be the end of this government’s troubles.