Greek leaders agree budget

GREECE’S new coalition government last night passed an austerity budget for 2012, aimed at shrinking its debt mountain with tax hikes and spending cuts.

Three major parties backing technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos solidly voted for the budget plan, a package of deeply unpopular measures needed to cut the deficit and show foreign lenders the country is sorting out its finances.

As lawmakers debated the budget, hundreds of masked youths hurled petrol bombs and clashed with Greek police outside parliament.