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 Post subject: Greece down to the wire to avert financial disaster
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Greece going down for last time ?


GREECE - Greece’s prime minister scrambled on Sunday to convince lenders and politicians to sign off on a 130 billion euro (108 billion pound) rescue, after his finance minister said just hours remain before the euro zone abandons the country to its fate. A technocrat appointed in November, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is trying to ensure cash-strapped Greece avoids sinking into a chaotic default when big bond redemptions come due next month. His finance minister said Athens had only until Sunday night to clinch a second financing package from lenders, after euro zone ministers bluntly told him they were ready to abandon Greece without proof it could push through painful cuts. “We are on a knife edge,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday after what he called a “very difficult” conference call with euro zone counterparts. “The moment is very crucial.”Papademos’s first mission on Sunday is to agree at least a preliminary deal with the foreign lenders on reforms included in the bailout. The European Central Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund are stubbornly refusing to yield on demands that Greece cut the minimum wage level, axe holiday bonuses and fire public sector workers.

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