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Greek parliament approves tax hikes

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Greek lawmakers have approved a new tax legislation intended to increase government revenues by 2.3 billion-euro (3 billion USD) in the following months.

The new tax bill was approved with the support of the majority of the lawmakers in the 300-member parliament early on Saturday.

The new legislation aims to tax any income above 42,000 euros (56,000 USD) per year at 42 percent.

The passage of the bill was a pre-condition for Athens to receive the next tranche of bailout funds from its three international creditors — the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Athens has introduced austerity measures and other debt cutting methods to meet the conditions set by the European Union for receiving a 34.3-billion-euro aid package.

With the rest of the package of almost 50 billion euros in financial assistance coming in March 2013, the government is pushing even harder to cut back its debt in order to satisfy the eurozone requirements.

Greece has been at the epicenter of a debt crisis in the eurozone and is experiencing its sixth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

One in every five Greek worker is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky positions, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent. Greek youths have also been badly affected, and more than half of them are unemployed.


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