Greek Parliament to debate debt writedown deal

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by Laura Matovina

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek lawmakers will start debating emergency legislation to approve the country's private debt relief deal, as unions plan a new anti-austerity rally outside Parliament.

The euro107 billion ($141 billion) writedown by banks and other private holders of Greek bonds will be debated at committee level on Wednesday. Parliament's plenary session will vote on the draft law Thursday.

Debt-crippled Greece on Tuesday secured a second international bailout worth euro130 billion ($172 billion), as well as the private debt writedown, in exchange for new austerity measures.

Unions are angry at two years of belt-tightening, and have called a protest rally for 4.00 p.m. Previous protests have turned violent, and rioters burnt and looted dozens of shops in central Athens during a rally on Feb. 12.

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