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Greece backs bailout after all-night debate

Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels later Friday to also vote whether to approve the arrangement.

By Ed Adamczyk
People gathered at Syntagma square to protest against the new package of austerity measures in Athens, Greece on July 15, 2015. The Greek Parliament approved a $95 billion bailout by the European Union Friday. Photo by Dimitris Michalakis/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7d62f7e9330a58be21edb3cffcb0ebb4/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
People gathered at Syntagma square to protest against the new package of austerity measures in Athens, Greece on July 15, 2015. The Greek Parliament approved a $95 billion bailout by the European Union Friday. Photo by Dimitris Michalakis/UPI | License Photo

ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The Greek parliament approved the country's latest bailout after an all-night session Friday, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced a revolt within his own party.

Over seven hours of heated and angry debate, much of it within Tsipiras' Syriza Party, led to the vote in favor of accepting Greece's third bailout in five years. The European Union is prepared to loan Greece 85 billion Euros ($95 billion), as a 3.2 billion Euro ($3.57 billion) payment to the European Central Bank (ECB) on a previous loan looms with an Aug. 20 deadline. Failure to pay the ECB would likely end external funding to Greek banks and lead to the country's exit from the Eurozone of countries using the Euro.

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Greece, dealing with a long-term recession, must make drastic economic cuts and privatize much of its infrastructure, part of austerity measures demanded by creditors. The new bailout will make essential financing available in the next three years.

Parliamentary approval of the loan Friday was required before Eurozone ministers meet in Brussels later Friday to presumably offer their approval. The vote in Athens showed 222 in favor of the deal and 64 against it, with 11 abstentions. About one-third of legislators from the Syriza party, which was elected earlier this year on an anti-austerity platform, voted against the measure or abstained.

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While Greece is on its way to another stopgap loan, Tsipras, who relied on pro-European opposition legislators to win the vote, now faces members of his own party convinced he betrayed election pledges to reject austerity measures. He referred to Friday's vote as painful but necessary, and faces a vote of confidence, likely next week, and the possibility of elections in the autumn, as his coalition government frays.

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