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Greek premier warns of more drastic cuts

Greek premier warns of more drastic cuts
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Taxi drivers in Athens blocked the streets of the Greek capital yesterday as part of a strike against the government’s economic cuts.

But their protests have fallen on deaf ears – Prime Minister George Papandreou is preparing to announce today yet further austerity measures to reduce Greece’s massive deficit.
He needs to re-establish confidence in the economy and to restore Greece’s credit rating.

Yesterday he stood before parliament and compared the crisis to a wartime situation.

“If our country doesn’t manage to borrow on terms similar to those enjoyed by other European Union countries, the results will be worse than catastrophic. Our responsibility is to prevent this catastrophe,” said Papandreou.

If protests greeted his earlier measures, the extra ones brought about at the insistence of the EU, will not be well received. They are expected to include a hike in VAT, public sector salary cuts and a tax on fuel.

Papandreou is going to Berlin on Friday to try and win German support for more concrete financial help from Europe.