ATHENS, Greece (AP) Despite torrential rain, protests continued in Athens for a second day, hours before a major austerity vote in parliament that would impose additional income losses for many Greeks for another three years.
Finance ministers from 19 euro countries will meet next Monday to assess Greece's progress on austerity reforms that lenders have mandated to give more funds to Athens.
The parliament is set to pass the bill in a vote expected around midnight which Athens hopes will help it gain a pledge of debt relief and loan disbursements by the country's EU-IMF creditors this month.
Athens needs foreign aid to repay its debt maturing in July.
As MPs debated, a last minute protest outside the parliament, called for by composer Mikis Theodorakis, drew several thousand people.
"No to austerity!". Sporadic clashes with small groups broke out and police used teargas to disperse them.
Hooded youths threw petrol bombs at officers who responded with tear gas.
Overall, the bill to be approved entails 4.9 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in cuts in 2018-2021.
Pension cuts will range from 9 percent to 18 percent and the tax-free limit will be reduced by nearly 3,000 euros ($3,280) to 5,681 euros ($6,211) of annual income.
Already reeling from seven years of budget cuts and tax hikes, workers stayed at home, ... He played up the prospect of alternative benefits and anti-poverty spending that his government has promised - provided, however, it meets ambitious budgetary targets for years to come.
"If the signal (on debt relief) is strong, we will have early tests even within the summer", Tsipras said.
Mr Tsipras was referring to an upcoming meeting of Eurozone finance ministers next week. Greek workers have walked off the job across the country for a nat.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said he expects restrictions on bank cash withdrawals and capital flows imposed in 2015 can be lifted by the end of this year.
Unions and the opposition compared the new reforms to those of a fourth bailout, but without the corresponding funding from global creditors.
Addressing the parliament on Thursday evening, main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused the government of transforming the country into a colony of austerity with no end.