Greek lawmakers pass 2014 budget that forecasts return to growth | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Greek lawmakers pass 2014 budget that forecasts return to growth

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras delivers a speech during a parliament meeting for a vote on 2014 country's budget in Athens, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Greece is struggling to complete its latest round of negotiations with bailout lenders, with the pace of staff cuts among the issues that must be resolved and ultimately allow Greece to qualify for long term debt-relief from its creditors. The government is predicting a modest return to growth next year after a six-year recession that erased more than a fifth of its output and left the national debt at around 175 percent of its gross domestic product. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

ATHENS, Greece - Greek lawmakers have passed the government's 2014 budget, which forecasts a return to growth after six consecutive years of deep recession, but its revenue and spending targets have been contested by the country's creditors who have provided more than 240 billion euros ($329 billion) in bailout aid since 2010 to keep heavily indebted Greece from going bankrupt.

As expected, the government coalition of conservatives and socialists held up in the Saturday night vote, with 153 lawmakers in the 300-member parliament voting for the budget and 142 voting against.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is hailing the budget as a first step in Greece exiting the bailout and notes that the economy would expand a modest 0.6 per cent in 2014, the first positive figure since 2007.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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