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Greece tensions escalate

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 01:51

Feb. 16 - Greece's president has hit out at the German finance minister's talk of a bottomless pit. Joanne Nicholson reports

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As the Greek government battles to save itself from bankruptcy, the mood of mistrust has escalated into an outright war of words. Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaueble likened Greece to a "bottomless pit", openly questioning whether Greece would stick to its promises. Greece's President - an 82-year old veteran of the resistance to Nazi occupation during World War 2 didn't take kindly to that. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESIDENT KAROLOS PAPOULIAS, SAYING: "I cannot accept Mr. Schaeuble insulting my nation. I cannot accept this as a Greek. Who is Mr. Schaeuble that he can insult Greece? Protests continued in Athens on Thursday after the Greek government said it had found a way to meet the EU and IMF's requirements to secure a second bailout of 130 billion euros. Greece says it can find a way to make further savings of 325 million euros and has signed a pledge to commit to the austerity measures even if there's a change of government at the next election in April. Analysts say they are watching closely to see what happens in the coming days. (SOUNDBITE) (German) STEFAN SCHARFFETTER, TRADER WITH BAADER BANK, SAYING: "Reactions to the Greece crisis are currently not as dramatic as they were a few months ago because people got used to it. A lot of the risks have already been taken into consideration by the markets and there is hope for a quick solution which unfortunately has been delayed, putting the markets under some pressure." With the hours counting down and tensions escalating the euro hit a three-week low on the dollar. It's been reported that finance officials in the currency union are looking at ways to delay all or part of the rescue deal while avoiding a default. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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Greece tensions escalate

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 01:51