Greece's parliament approved a tough budget for next year, aimed at ending the country's deep recession, despite continued differences on fiscal policy with the country's international creditors.
The coalition government, which enjoys a narrow majority in the 300-seat chamber, scraped through with 153 deputies backing the 2014 budget in a late evening vote.
The budget measures included a further 3.1 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in spending cuts from an economy already suffering from successive austerity measures.
The move came as Greece's troika of international creditors -- the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- announced they had delayed until January their next trip to Athens.
Senior auditors from the so-called creditor troika had been expected to return to Athens on Monday to resume an evaluation of pledged Greek reforms.
The EU-ECB-IMF decision means talks on unblocking one billion euros in bailout funds are postponed.
The budget approved by parliament foresees a return to growth for the embattled Greek economy.
But earlier Saturday a spokesman for EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the international negotiating team would not return to Athens until next month "after the authorities have made further progress in implementation" of reforms demanded by Greece's creditors.
An agreement with the troika is necessary to unblock the one-billion-euro instalment of financial aid pending since the summer.
Athens has been keen to wrap up the talks before it assumes the rotating EU presidency in January.
The creditors and Athens disagree on the level of a forecasted financing gap for 2014 and the measures that need to be taken to cover it.
Discussions are reportedly stumbling on the issue of a new property tax, debtor property auctions, layoffs in the state sector and the slow pace of privatisation.
The government is under pressure from the troika to loosen a moratorium on home foreclosures but such a measure is likely to be opposed by several ruling party lawmakers and could risk the cohesion of the conservative-socialist coalition.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed the positive in parliament, saying the country had "achieved a number of reforms which many had considered impossible".
The changes made are "enormous," he said, citing fresh competitiveness and a drastic reduction in the budget deficit.
He admitted discussions with the troika of creditors were difficult but said he was confident there would be a satisfactory conclusion.
Greece's budget for 2014 has not yet been approved by the troika and could yet be amended in the coming months with new austerity measures that the government has thus far rigorously opposed.
As it stands the budget foresees a 0.6 percent growth in GDP for next year after six consecutive years of recession. A four percent contraction is expected this year.
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing opposition party Syriza, said adopting the budget in its current form, which includes a 2.1 billion euro hike in tax revenues as well as the spending cuts, means "the disaster will continue".
Nevertheless Greek officials are beginning to talk of an exit strategy from the international loan aid packages.
Some 240 billion euros have been injected into the national coffers since the EU and IMF intervened in 2010.
"Greece has made impressive progress over the last year, and the hard work is paying off. Greece is set to emerge from recession next year and is on track to reach a primary budget surplus," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday after meeting with Samaras in Brussels.
"However we know that the economic situation is still fragile and this is not the time to fall victim to reform fatigue. More work is needed on the fiscal package, tax and public administration reform, privatisations and improvements to the business environment and product and service markets," Barroso said.