Greece passes austerity 2017 budget

Greece’s Parliament has passed a budget of continued austerity as mandated by the country’s creditors, but which forecasts robust growth for 2017.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says it will mark Greece’s “final exit” from its nearly decade-long financial crisis.

The budget adds more than 1 billion euros in new taxes, mostly indirect taxes on items from phone calls to alcohol. It also cuts spending by over 1 billion euros.

The budget was backed by the left-dominated ruling coalition and opposed by all other parties. It passed by a vote of 152-146 on Saturday.

Despite the continued austerity, Tsipras predicted that 2017 will be a “landmark year” with 2.7 per cent economic growth. He said his government has achieved a higher-than-forecast 2016 primary surplus.

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