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Greek lawmakers pass crucial austerity bill

(AP) Greek lawmakers pass crucial austerity bill
ATHENS, Greece
Greek lawmakers have narrowly passed a crucial austerity bill by majority vote, but with heavy dissent from within the three-party governing coalition.

Immediately after the vote early Thursday and before the tally had been officially announced, two of the coalition parties expelled a total of seven dissenting deputies from their ranks.

The third party in the coalition, the small Democratic Left, mostly voted "present" _ in essence abstaining from the vote.

The passage of the bill was a big step for the government to secure continued funding from the country's international creditors. Without the loans, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said Greece will run out of euros on Nov. 16.

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