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Greek opposition denounces international debt deal


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Greek opposition denounces international debt deal

The announcement of a deal to reduce Greek debt did not stop protesters from taking to the streets to oppose job losses demanded by international lenders.

Teachers and local authority workers marched in Athens to denounce plans that may see up to 27,000 public sector jobs go.

Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to reduce Greek debt by 40 billion euros.

It paves the way for the country to receive even more – 43.7 billion euros – in bailout loans.

Under the deal the new target is to reduce Greece’s debt from its current level of around 180 per cent of national output, to 124 per cent by 2020.

The leader of the main opposition Syriza party says the deal will not help Greece recover; he blames the government for letting others decide its fate.

“The negotiations and the discussions took place between (German Chancellor) Merkel and (the IMF’s Christine) Lagarde and they made the compromise. The solution does not include Greece, it does not include a viable plan for Greece, that is why it is not a solution,” Alexis Tsipras said.

Newspapers are split over the deal. One put a smiley face on its front page alongside the headline “the first smile for Greece”. Another called it a “disastrous compromise”.

The three-party coalition has welcomed it and for the prime minister, it is a huge relief.

“All Greeks will benefit from last night’s success,” said Antonis Samaras. “The reform process and regeneration in Greece is now getting stronger. Greece is going to be competitive, European-oriented, and with people who will be proud of it. With a modern democracy and with a society which is united.”

Some Greeks, worn down by successive austerity measures passed by parliament, have shrugged off the debt compromise.

One man asked: what difference does it make when you have no money to feed your family or pay the bills?

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