Greeks strike over bailout cuts

A general strike has taken effect against new austerity measures seeking to avoid a damaging debt overhaul.

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    Auditors from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union have arrived in Greece to assess the country's economic situation after last year's bailout.

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    Greece owes $155bn and paying all that money back has meant tough austerity measures and public protests.

    Athens' overall debt has exploded to $489.6bn, leading to mounting
    speculation - even from Greek officials - that it will need alternative
    options to keep up with repayments when the EU-IMF loan runs out in 2013.

    Senior EU and Greek officials have denied that any debt restructuring is on
    the agenda, although eurozone officials have begun to admit that Greece is
    likely to need more aid in some form.

    Olli Rehn, the European Union Economic Affairs Commissioner, who is the senior EU official behind bailout negotiations, said a decision on further aid is a few
    weeks away, pending the result of the audit.

    Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports from the capital, Athens.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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