Small left party insists on opposing wage cuts

Coalition party says it will oppose wage, pension cuts but won't topple government

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A small leftist party will oppose further cuts in wages and pensions included in an omnibus reform bill, but does not want to topple Greece's coalition government.

Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis said late Sunday after meeting Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that his party will remain in the government despite its opposition to the latest austerity measures.

Parliament is to debate and vote on the omnibus bill and the 2013 budget this coming week, and unions have called a wave of strikes to protest the measures. Passage of the omnibus bill, and the budget is essential for Greece's creditors to release a euro31.5 billion tranche of bailout aid without which the country could face bankruptcy by mid-month.

Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos, another coalition partner, will try to bring his party's deputies into line at a meeting Monday.

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