Arab Today, arab today cyprus parliament passes austerity bills amid protest
Last Updated : GMT 21:53:08
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Cyprus parliament passes austerity bills amid protest

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Cyprus parliament passes austerity bills amid protest

Nicosia - XINHUA

Cyprus parliament passed a batch of 24 laws aimed at implementing the provisions of an interim bailout memorandum with international lenders in an extraordinary session on Wednesday. The laws were drafted in cooperation with troika technocrats representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, after Cyprus became the fifth Eurozone country to request a bailout in June. Hundreds of demonstrators protesting against discontinuation of allowances paid to multi-member families and handicapped people held a rally outside the parliament as lawmakers passed in quick succession the laws. Some scuffled with the police outside parliament after demonstrators stormed the building on Tuesday. Several demonstrators threw stones at glass panes but they were later dispersed peacefully. Unlike Greece where the opposition vehemently opposed similar laws, the Cypriot parliament unanimously passed most of the laws introducing salary and pension cuts, discontinuation of allowances and tax hikes on tobacco products, alcohol and beer. Lawmakers from across the whole political spectrum said that their choice was between the austerity laws and state insolvency. Passing of the laws was a requirement before the preliminary bailout agreement comes for discussion before a Eurogroup ministerial meeting on Thursday in Brussels. However, a decision by the Eurogroup endorsing the bailout will probably come on January 21 next year, after the release of a report by bank auditors on the amount needed to recapitalize Cyprus banks that are badly hit by their exposure to the Greek debt.

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