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Greece's test & euro zone votes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 02:25

Sept. 28 - Inspectors set their sights on Greece's austerity reforms, and euro zone governments decide whether or not to strengthen the region's bailout fund. Kirsty Bassett reports.

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As painful cuts in Greece accelerate, so do the protests. Many Greeks are outraged by the latest burden - an unpopular property tax which has been extended until 2014. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT MARIA MAMUSIATO, SAYING: "I think it is very bad indeed that they voted for this because people are literally hungry. I am not exaggerating. They really are hungry." A team of international inspectors will check on Greece's progress on Thursday. The country is scrambling to implement reforms in exchange for 8 billion euros of aid, to avoid default next month. NAB analyst Tom Voser. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NAB ANALYST TOM VOSER SAYING: "I think this is going to be a fairly short stay for the troika, they'll be out fairly shortly. But they'll approve the measures that have been cast and therefore open the way for the second tranche to come through." German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Greek television the terms of that bailout may change - depending on the outcome of the inspectors' audit. But analysts aren't expecting major alterations. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NAB ANALYST TOM VOSER SAYING: "I don't think we're reopening the whole thing in terms of the size of the package or indeed the support from national government. It's more a tidying up at the edges exercise." Germany's parliament is due to vote on Thursday on changes which will strengthen the region's bailout fund. Taxpayer resentment there is high. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PASSENGER MICHAEL PURES SAYING: "I think Greece is to blame because they have so few taxes. I think it's good the way it is in Germany, we have many taxes, so we get a lot of income as a country and can afford our infrastructure - this is not the case with Greece. I don't understand why we have to pay this." But Merkel is expected to win the vote says Professor Juergen Falter, at the University of Mainz. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUERGEN FALTER, PROFESSOR FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINZ, SAYING: "Angela Merkel will have a majority tomorrow, a majority for the European safety system. But it may be that she won't have a majority on her own, from her own coalition. And this would mean of course, at least symbolically, that she would be weakened." Finland's parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of extending the powers of the bailout fund. The ruling coalition wants to keep the country on a pro-Europe course despite strong eurosceptic opposition. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Greece's test & euro zone votes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 02:25