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Some more grim news out of the Greek economy.
Unemployment in the debtor country has crept up to 23.5 per cent from 23.1 per cent at the start of the year, defying the impressive declines in the jobless rate made across the rest of the eurozone.
Greece’s unemployment rate is comfortably the highest in the eurozone (Spain is second worst placed at 18 per cent) and far above that 9.5 per cent average in the single currency area.
The deterioration in the labour market comes as progress in Athens’ three-year bailout has stalled over the last few months. Economic growth has also suffered, contracting by its worst pace in two years at the end of 2016.
EU and Greek officials are now rushing to agree a deal to pave the way for the injection of bailout cash to stop the country from defaulting on its creditors this summer. Finance ministers will be meeting in Malta on Friday to bridge differences with the IMF and agree on Athens’ latest set of tax and pension reform measures.
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