MP says he received death threats before crucial vote

A Socialist deputy who last week grabbed headlines for making a controversial about-turn on the government?s austerity measures, has said he received death threats ahead of the vote.

In an interview with a local channel of his Kozani costitutency, Alexandros Athanassiadis said he had effectively been blackmailed to vote in favor of the so-called midterm fiscal plan, which was passed in a tense Parliament session last Wednesday.

The PASOK MP had earlier said he would definitely vote against the measures because he opposed plans to privatize the Public Power Corporation.

A group of around 20 protesters hurled bottles and a chair at Athanassiadis as he left the Parliament building after the vote last week.

The austerity measures were opposed by opposition parties and were the cause of a general strike, marred by extensive rioting, on Tuesday and Wednesday. They were eventually approved by majority vote, securing 155 votes from Greece?s 300-seat assembly.

Another Socialist MP, Panayiotis Kouroublis, was ousted from the ruling party for voting against the measures.