A bill allowing the Greek government to close down dozens of universities as a way of reducing public spending passed Wednesday night in Parliament, as daily Athens News reports. 163 MP's from New Democracy, Democratic Left and the majority of Pasok voted in favour of the bill, while 101 MP's from the rest of the opposition parties voted against the bill. Former PM George Papandreou was among the six Pasok MP's who voted against the bill. According to the new law, universities can be shut down "when this is in agreement with the needs of the national economy." "It is impossible for a country (like Greece) with a population of 11 million people to afford about 40 universities when other countries, such as Israel, have just seven or eight," Education Minister Costas Arvanitopoulos recently told Mega TV.