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‘Greece faces sixth year of recession’

‘Greece faces sixth year of recession’
A draft budget presented to Greece’s parliament today forecasts a sixth straight year of recession in 2013 with a 3.8-per cent contraction and a public deficit target of 4.2 per cent of GDP, the finance ministry said.

The ministry added that measures worth USD 10 billion would be imposed in 2013 through spending cuts and savings to bring down the deficit from 6.6 per cent of output this year.

This is part of a new austerity programme worth 13.5 billion euros overall that the government is currently negotiating with its international creditors – the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank.

The programme nominally runs to 2014 but Greece’s government is trying to secure a two-year extension to 2016.

European leaders are expected to discuss the demand at an 18 October summit.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said Greece had already imposed ‘huge sacrifices’ on its citizens worth € 49 billion in 2010-2012, and was hoping to reach a primary surplus of € 2.2 billion in 2013.

‘We are under obligation to steer the boat without wavering in order to make a difficult turn,’ Staikouras said in a statement. Greece’s economy is expected to contract by 6.5 per cent of output this year.
AFP

AFP

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