September 20, 2014
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greek lawmakers have passed the government's 2014 budget, which forecasts a return to growth after six consecutive years of deep recession, but its revenue and spending targets have been contested by the country's creditors who have provided more than 240 billion euros ($329 billion) in bailout aid since 2010 to keep heavily indebted Greece from going bankrupt.
As expected, the government coalition of conservatives and socialists held up in the Saturday night vote, with 153 lawmakers in the 300-member parliament voting for the budget and 142 voting against.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is hailing the budget as a first step in Greece exiting the bailout and notes that the economy would expand a modest 0.6 percent in 2014, the first positive figure since 2007.
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