Greek govt wins vote, gets majority cut by 1 seat

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's coalition government won a confidence vote Monday called by the left-wing opposition but saw its parliamentary majority cut by one seat.

Socialist deputy Theodora Tzakri was expelled from the party after refusing to back Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' 15-month-old government in the vote held in the 300-seat parliament early Monday.

Samaras saw his support cut to 154 deputies — just three above the minimum required — after Tzakri was declared an independent. Samaras formed the coalition after the June 2012 election and has pushed through unpopular austerity measures demanded by international lenders in return for the country's 240 billion-euro ($322-billion) bailout.

Tzakri, a 43-year-old former deputy interior minister, accused the government of planning deeper austerity cuts in a country that is already reeling from unemployment, job cuts and higher taxes. "The Greek people are being wiped out by constant cuts and taxes, prospects of growth are being put off, and the government's only concern is how it will sell another round of taxes and cuts to the public," Tzakri said in a statement.

The government is currently in talks with bailout inspectors to try and reach a deal on long-term spending cuts ahead of a Nov. 21 deadline for submitting the 2014 budget to parliament. The government won the no-confidence vote Monday 153-124 after Tzakri abstained and a conservative lawmaker was absent, citing illness.

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