Australian lawmakers vote to relax Qantas rules

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government has taken a step toward relaxing foreign ownership restrictions on Qantas Airways by passing legislation through the House of Representatives.

But the opposition Labor Party and Greens party plan to use their majority in the Senate to keep the national carrier Australian-owned.

The conservative government's dominance of the lower chamber of Parliament ensured the legislation to repeal limits on foreign stakes in Qantas was passed. The bill passed on Thursday 83 votes to 53.

Cabinet ministers decided Monday to allow more foreign ownership of Australia's largest airline to help it raise capital.

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