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Europe's Finance Ministers Discuss New Greek Bailout


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, reacts as he sits next to Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, July 15, 2015.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, reacts as he sits next to Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, July 15, 2015.

European finance ministers are holding a conference call Thursday to discuss options for a Greek bailout, after Greek lawmakers approved a package of tough reforms early Thursday.

The "yes" vote on reforms was demanded by Greece's creditors in exchange for more bailout funds.

Athens faces a Monday deadline to repay $4.6 billion to the European Central Bank.

Greece's ruling Syriza party was able to pass the unpopular reform bill on a 229-64 vote, with support from pro-European opposition parties.

High-profile dissenters

Prominent Syriza party members were among the 38 members who dissented, including Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers shortly before the vote that he had no choice but to accept the demanding terms of Greece's creditors.

"We don't believe in it, but we are forced to adopt it," Tsipras said.

In order for Greece to secure bailout funds, the agreement must now go before the parliaments of some of the 19 other members of the eurozone. Germany is set to vote Friday.

Earlier, anti-austerity demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police guards in front of the parliament building.

Police responded with tear gas, sending the protesters scurrying into Syntagma Square.

Thousands protest

The violence marred otherwise peaceful protests as at least 10,000 people marched through Athens to demonstrate against the austerity measures.

Greek pharmacists had pulled down the shutters to their stores in protest of the proposed reforms Wednesday, while civil servants walked off their jobs.

But one survey of Greeks showed 70 percent support for the bailout plan.

For two weeks now, Greek banks have been shut, with increasingly desperate depositors limited to daily 60 euro ($67) withdrawals from cash machines.

The bill passed early Thursday specifies new taxes, pension reforms and tighter supervision of government finances.

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