Athens: The Greek cabinet approved on Friday a draft bill committing the country to reforms required by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for a new €130-billion ($171-billion U.S.) bailout Athens needs to avoid a messy bankruptcy, government officials said.
The move came after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said the alternative was “catastrophe” for the country.
The bill is scheduled to be voted in parliament on Sunday, which would take Greece one step closer to getting the loan.
The EU also wants Greece to identify further €325-million of spending cuts and clear commitments by main party leaders that the reforms will be implemented.
Earlier in the day, police fired tear gas at masked protesters who threw petrol bombs, stones and bottles at the start of a 48-hour general strike against austerity cuts in Athens.