Amid protests and clashes, Greek lawmakers approve unpopular tax and pension reforms, a move the left-led government hopes will help unlock fresh bailout funds. Mana Rabiee reports.
Protests and scuffles all weekend in Athens -- as parliament got set to debate unpopular tax and pension reforms. The demonstrations didn't stop Greek lawmakers from passing a controversial bill in the early morning hours of Monday. One that the leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hopes will persuade the country's creditors to unlock bailout cash. The new measures aim to make sure that Athens will boost tax revenues and slash pension spending -- enough -- to regain access to the bond markets. Athens MUST lower its pensions -- some of the most expensive in the euro zone -- IF it wants to qualify for a fresh installment of the latest international bailout, worth up to 86 billion euros. But the opposition said during the fiery debate the new reforms will prove recessionary and will deal yet another blow to a population already fatigued by years of austerity. Protesters demonstrated for three straight days -- and HAD vowed to continue to fight the measures even if the vote passed.