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Greece makes ‘superhuman effort’ to slash debt

Greece is making a “superhuman effort” to slash debt, Prime Minister George Papandreou said Tuesday as he prepared to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel for crunch talks on tackling the eurozone crisis. Papandreou hit out at Greece’s critics, saying that to single out Athens for “punishment and scorn” was anything…

Eurozone crisis dragging down growth worldwide

The eurozone crisis is dragging down growth in the second half of the year but not to the point of recession, the EU said on Thursday as finance ministers headed to key talks on solutions. EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the economy was set to come to a…

Merkel urges Germans to be patient with Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on her compatriots to be patient with Greece in its current struggle to overcome a severe debt crisis. “What hasn’t been done in years cannot be done overnight,” Merkel told the Sunday edition of Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper, pointing to Germany’s bid to spruce up infrastructure…

Greece builds on vote victory in race to cut and privatize

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek ministers raced on Wednesday to meet a two-week deadline for budget cuts in return for EU-IMF cash to pay current bills and contain the eurozone crisis, hours after winning a confidence vote. While the government managed to prevent any defections as it won the confidence motion…

Fitch Ratings sees risk of Greek, U.S. debt defaults

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Fitch Ratings warned it would treat a voluntary rollover of Greece’s sovereign bonds in any rescue package as a default and would cut the credit rating, keeping pressure on European policymakers who intend to outline a new plan by mid July. Fractious euro zone finance ministers are…

Greek PM faces critical confidence vote

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou vowed there would be no backsliding on a 28 billion euro programme of cuts ahead of a confidence vote Tuesday seen as key to calming fears for the euro’s future. Lawmakers are expected to give their verdict on Papandreou’s new-look government at…

Greek PM offers power-sharing deal to push austerity cuts

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday invited the main opposition into government to deal with the debt crisis, as thousands ringed parliament against new austerity cuts. Papandreou sounded out opposition conservative leader Antonis Samaras on a unity government to secure backing for new controversial reforms required…

Greek anti-austerity protesters surround parliament

ATHENS (AFP) – Thousands of Greek protesters surrounded the parliament building in Athens on Wednesday as a general strike paralysed the country and the prime minister held emergency talks on a controversial reform package. Riot police and barricades blocked approaches to parliament as 20,000 people gathered in the capital, summoned…

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