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Nervous Greeks await their economic fate

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Nervous Greeks await their economic fate


The summer street scenes in Athens perhaps belie the anxiety that exists over the risk of Greece going bankrupt.

The shadow that has been hanging over the country for several months has brought measures that have hit people hard in their pockets.

Now as their fate lay in the hands of politicians in Brussels, all they could do was wait.

“We’re expecting help from France and Germany,” said 45-year-old shopkeeper Yannis Dellis. “For the good of Greece but also so that we don’t drag the rest of Europe down – Italy and Portugal.”

One Greek minister has criticised the lack of decisions at European level as a disaster for Europe and a slow death for Greece.

He remains optimistic, however:

“We believe that in the next three or four years, we could arrive to increasing our GDP to the same level we had in 2009 but by a healthy way. So I believe that our political will is very strong and our belief is that we will achieve our goals,” said Development Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis.

While ministers gathered in Brussels, Greek taxi drivers blocked ports and airports, disrupting tourists for a fourth day.

They are fighting deregulation: the government plans to open up their trade to competition in line with EU and IMF demands, a condition of last year’s bailout.

So far the progress has been limited, with the government bowing to union demands to keep regulations in place.

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