January 03, 2012

Greece warns on euro exit if bailout not signed

A Greek one euro coin  
The Greek government says it will have to abandon the single currency if it fails to secure new loans
Greece may have to leave the eurozone if it fails to secure a second 130bn euro bailout ($169.5bn, £108.7bn) from the EU, IMF and private lenders, a government spokesperson has warned.
"The bailout agreement needs to be signed otherwise we will be out of the markets, out of the euro," spokesman Pantelis Kapsis told Skai TV.
The government faces public opposition to the measures demanded by lenders.
It has warned the alternative would be euro exit and financial chaos.
The latest bailout was agreed in principle by EU leaders in October, conditional on Greece adopting further measures to cut its deficit and restructure its economy.
EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank inspectors are due in Athens later in January to agree details of the bailout plan.
Greece's parliament approved the measures for this year in early December.
Protests The budget, which includes further tax rises and spending cuts, was proposed by the interim coalition government of former bank governor Lucas Papademos.
But protests against the measures have continued in Athens.
On Monday, Greek doctors and pharmacists went on strike in the country's first walkout of the new year.
State hospital doctors have said they will treat only emergency cases until Thursday, in protest at changes to healthcare provision.

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