Protests outside parliament as Greece votes on 2013 austerity budget

As the government in Greece votes on a new austerity program for next year’s budget, demonstrations are taking place outside parliament in Athens.

Facing the debt-stricken country is another 13.5 billion euros worth of cuts and tax increases for 2013.

“We drove 650 kilometres to come here because we are freezing up in Florina. Last year it was -30 degrees for three months. We have never seen anything like that before. It was the coldest winter and it was the coldest city in Europe.

“That’s why we came here, so the government can help us. We want to live and for our kids to be able to go to school,” said Vasilios Kotsios, one of the angry protesters who lives in the north of Greece.

All three parties in the coalition have agreed to back the budget, despite the unpopular austerity measures, making it likely the plan will be approved by parliament.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has warned Greece will run out of money next month unless it receives the next part of its loan – 31.2 billion euros – from the EU and IMF.

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