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More pressure on "humiliated" Greece

Monday, September 19, 2011 - 02:14

Sept.19 - It's a crunch week for Greece, which needs to receive the latest installment of its EU/IMF bailout to avoid running out of money in October. But as the IMF says Athens needs to speed up its reforms, Greek citizens are worried about the future. Joanna Partridge reports

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Many envy Greece's culture and climate - but it's a tough time to be Greek. The country is deep in recession - unemployment is at a record 16% and Greeks have seen wage cuts and tax increases. SOUNDBITE: Christos Vouros, Greek citizen, saying (Greek): "We're very concerned about the situation, we are exhausted, people cannot sleep, we are suffering a great deal from the new measures." SOUNDBITE: Angelos Pittas, Greek citizen, saying (Greek): "I don't see any future. The poor have become poorer, and the rich have become richer, and I don't know what the future will be like for the new generation." It's a crucial week for Greece. Its lenders, the EU and the IMF have made clear their patience with the Greek government is running out. Athens must urgently implement reforms and expand its austerity programme if it's to receive the next 8 billion euro loan. Without it, Greece could run out of money in October. Bob Traa is the IMF's representative for Greece - he says Athens still needs to shrink the public sector and chase tax evaders. SOUNDBITE: Bob Traa, IMF Representative for Greece, saying (English): "The European partners have told you in effect that they will stand by you for as long as it takes provided that Greece continues to pursue sound policies. So this in our view really places the ball in your court, the ball is in the Greek court, implementation is of the essence." Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos says the country needs to work together. But many analysts believe it's too late for more austerity. Manoj Ladwa from ETX Capital says it's no longer a question of if but when Greece defaults. SOUNDBITE: Manoj Ladwa, Senior Trader at ETX Capital, saying (English): "It's down to whether they're able to exit their debt obligations in an orderly fashion, if they're not, then there's a risk of it spreading to other banks, other sovereign nations very quickly." Some Greek politicians say they can't take the humiliation any more of being told what to do in return for loans. But without a new loan Greece may not be able to pay the wages of those public sector workers who still have jobs. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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More pressure on "humiliated" Greece

Monday, September 19, 2011 - 02:14