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Germany approves Greek bailout

Friday, November 30, 2012 - 02:10

Nov. 30 - German lawmakers vote through Greece's bailout agreed to earlier this week by EU and IMF officials, as people on the streets of Athens throw eggs and tomatoes at government buildings in protest. Joel Flynn reports.

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For these Greek workers, something smells rotten. And it's not the eggs or tomatoes they're throwing at the country's Public Administration Ministry. They're protesting against government reforms that could leave 27,000 public workers jobless. The reforms are part of Greece's new bailout, agreed to by the IMF and EU earlier this week. What's worrying those outside Athens though is how rotten the Greek economy really is. Adam Cole is from RBC Capital Markets. SOUNDBITE: RBC Capital Markets Head of FX Research, Adam Cole, saying (English): "Certainly we don't think the Greek saga is over, and I think the arithmetic that shows that Greek debt now being sustainable is very optimistic. We do think a further restructuring will be required, but I think what they have done is probably enough to put that off until the other side of the German elections." Europe looks likely to be the biggest backdrop to Germany's federal election in September. The Greek bailout was been approved by German lawmakers earlier today, in a vote seen as a test for Chancellor Angela Merkel. That's despite concerns about the cost to Germany taxpayers. There's increasing speculation among Germans that euro zone governments will eventually have to write off a lot of the loans to Greece. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said though such speculation could undermine efforts to shore up the euro zone. SOUNDBITE: German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, saying (German): "Current speculation about a write-down (of Greek debt) would create wrong incentives. If we say the debt will be written off, (Greece's) willingness to make savings is correspondingly weakened. That's why they are wrong incentives." Back in Greece however, few see the current measures as being in their interests. SOUNDBITE: Municipal Workers President, Themis Balasopoulos, saying (Greek): "They are voting to protect their interests, the Greek people and workers will not see an improvement in their standard of living." SOUNDBITE: Municipal worker on redundancy list, Evangelia Leondari, saying (Greek): "We are afraid, we are in despair, we don't know what we are going to do with our lives, the fact is they have taken our lives." Merkel is as popular in Germany as ever. But her fortunes are as closely tied to the euro crisis as that of Greek politicians.

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Germany approves Greek bailout

Friday, November 30, 2012 - 02:10