Parliament to vote on privatization bill

Lawmakers in Greece are preparing to vote on a privatization bill that is seen as a test of the country’s coalition government.

The vote, which is due in parliament late Tuesday would give the government broader powers to privatize public utilities, but is facing growing dissent from deputies in the three-party coalition.

That disagreement has added tension between the government’s conservative majority and a junior left-wing partner which is threatening to vote against major new austerity measures unless labor reforms included in them are scrapped.

The ?13.5 billion ($17.4 billion) austerity package is required by international creditors if they are to hand over more loans that Greece needs to avoid bankruptcy. [AP]