UPDATE: Dow Jones reports that the vote has passed:
#GREECE VOTE COUNT: Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Measures With 151 Yes Votes
Six members of PASOK, a junior member of the coalition government, have been expelled from the party by Evangelos Venizelos for defecting and voting against the measures.
Highlighting how the mighty have fallen, Kathimerini deputy editor Nick Malkoutzis tweeted:
— Nick Malkoutzis (@NickMalkoutzis) November 7, 2012
Greek PM Antonis Samaras expelled one member of the ruling New Democracy party as well for voting against the measures.
ORIGINAL: While violent protests over austerity have engulfed Syntagma Square outside of the Greek parliament this evening, a heated debate has been raging inside the parliamentary chambers as well.
The debate over austerity in parliament comes ahead of a crucial vote on a package of labor reforms (spending cuts) demanded by Greece's troika lenders in exchange for more bailouts.
In just a few minutes, at midnight in Athens (5 PM ET), lawmakers will take the austerity bill to a vote, and it's expected to be extremely close.
And the stakes are high: if the bill doesn't pass, it will set up an even bigger showdown between Greece and the EU than it's already engaged in, and the spectre of not receiving additional aid and going bankrupt, according to Citi economists, may put a near-term Greek exit back on the table.
We will have LIVE coverage of the vote here. Click for the latest updates >
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