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Athens on `political suicide mission` to pass cuts after 12bn loan deal
Date 17/06/2011 15:53  Author webmaster  Hits 1699  Language Global
17 JUN 2011

By John Lichfield and Nathalie Savaricas in Athens | Independent

Fears that the Greek debt crisis could generate another banking meltdown and global economic crash persisted yesterday despite a short-term fix by the EU and IMF.

The European Union agreed terms with the International Monetary Fund to release a €12bn (£10.5bn) tranche of loans to prevent Greece becoming the first developed economy to default since the 1950s. But the loans are conditional on an increasingly fragile Greek government pushing through new spending cuts and tax rises against street and parliamentary opposition in the next two weeks.

The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, was trying to put together a new government last night, after his efforts to pass an austerity package sparked street protests and brought his Socialist-led administration to the brink of collapse. Mr Papandreou, who is reshuffling his cabinet, admitted to "mistakes and weaknesses" by his government, but vowed to tackle the crisis.

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