Cabinet meeting under way

Greece's Cabinet was meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a raft of new laws and ministerial decisions that must be approved in coming days, before Parliament sits down later in the day to vote on additional cuts to salaries and pensions -- one of several so-called “prior actions” demanded by foreign creditors.

The parliamentary vote comes a day after the Standard & Poor's ratings agency downgraded Greece's credit rating to «selective default» over a debt writedown deal with private creditors that is an integral part of the country's second, 130-billion-euro bailout.

The Finance Ministry said the S&P downgrade «was pre-announced and all its consequences have been anticipated, planned for and addressed by the relevant decision of the European Council and the Eurogroup.» It added that the move had «no impact in the Greek banking sector."

Unions, meanwhile, Unions have planned demonstrations in Athens on Wednesday afternoon as part of Europe-wide anti-austerity protests, with the union of bank employees(OTOE)saying that they would also hold a three-hour work stoppage starting at noon on Wednesday.

The next few days will see the issuing of dozens of circulars aimed at pushing through delayed reforms including opening up closed professions and cutting operational costs in the public sector.

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