Greece's Parliament on Sunday approved the austerity and debt-relief bill, required for the country to avoid bankruptcy. Greece's government has expelled 43 deputies from its ranks in parliament, over dissent in a do-or-die austerity vote. Will these measures be considered legal when challenged in court by allowing this. The Socialists and conservatives expelled 22 and 21 lawmakers, respectively, from their parliamentary groups early on, reducing their majority in the 300-seat parliament from 236 to 193.
The third coalition member, the rightist LAOS party, effectively withdrew from the Government on Friday after its leader publicly opposed the deal.
Is this what the EU was demanding.
The austerity package imposes harsh new austerity measures in return for a 130 billion euro ($161 billion) new bailout agreement and related deal with private creditors to shave 100 billion euros off the country's national debt.
The vote occurred as extensive rioting and looting swept through the Greek capital. Rioting continues.
Greek police used tear gas on petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside Parliament where lawmakers were debating the austerity plan.
Police said some 30,000 protesters were massed outside the building and at nearby Omonia Square, with some 3000 police deployed and more protesters arriving. Another 15,000 were gathered in Greece's second city Thessaloniki.
The situation is very clear. Tonight at midnight before the markets open the Greek Parliament must send the message that our nation can and will (support the debt deal), Mr Venizelos said.
Today we must understand, and persuade Greek citizens, that when you have to choose between bad and worse, you will choose the bad to avoid the worst, he added.
It seems that the Greek people are not happy with these measures and if a true vote was help by Parliament with original members that have been present all long, the legislation would have failed.
Riots and civil unrest continue in Greece.
Moving to Spain, where austerity programs have been implemented after being imposed by the EU. More civil unrest.
Spain's two biggest unions have called for nationwide protests on February 19 against labour reforms which they said would destroy jobs. Unemployment in Spain is climbing uncontrollably, with more job losses over 25% of the country will be unemployed, without the possibility of finding employment. Spain is doing very little to increase jobs or growth, under harsh austerity measures growth will continue to decline.
On February 19 we want the streets of Spain to be filled with noisy protests against the labour reforms, the head of the CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, told a joint news conference with UGT union boss Candido Mendez. We will set in motion a process of mobilisation that we hope will grow.
Asked whether the unions would call a general strike, Toxo said representatives would visit companies to explain to workers that the reforms attack the fundamentals of (Spain's) model of social well-being and aimed to dismantle workers' rights.
Mendez said that the reforms would destroy jobs in the short term and increase job insecurity in the medium term (and) increase the frustration of people already reeling under earlier austerity measures.
He said the reforms would impoverish the middle class, lamenting that employers will be able to fire employees more cheaply and hire young people at lower wages.
Spain's conservative government on Friday slashed employees' maximum severance pay as part of sweeping labour reforms to confront a jobless rate of nearly 23%. Youth unemployment stands at nearly 50%.
Under the reforms, sacked employees will receive 33 days' worth of severance pay per year worked, and 20 days' worth in financially driven layoffs, compared with the current 45 days.
Unemployment has tripled since 2007, when it dropped to a low of 7.95%.