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Greek minister accuses markets of 'blackmail'

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Greek minister accuses markets of 'blackmail'


Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has outlined new austerity measures to a cabinet meeting, designed to appease the country’s creditors and save it from going bust.

He has accused financial markets of “blackmailing” Greece and EU leaders of failing to handle the crisis effectively. But he told parliament that more belt-tightening was necessary.

“Yes, we need to take additional measures,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the international troika’s control, unfortunately in fiscal terms, we would have gone off the rails.”

Inspectors from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank are due back in Athens next week. They want reforms speeded up in return for the release of eight billion euros in new bailout funds.

Wednesday has seen more protests, but they are no longer on the same scale that brought violent clashes in the summer.

Greek media say the latest plan is likely to include accelerated public sector layoffs, pension and wage cuts for civil servants, a fuel tax rise and an extension of a one-off property tax.

The measures are due to be announced in detail later on Wednesday.

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