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Greece

Greece's unemployment hits new record

Greece's jobless rate has soared to a new high. The younger generation remains the worst hit by a protracted recession and austerity measures the government needs to implement in return for foreign loans.

Unemployment in crisis-stricken eurozone member Greece hit a new record of 27.2 percent in January, the national statistics agency ELSTAT reported on Thursday.

Greeks vent anger at soaring unemployment

It said 1.348 million people were registered as being jobless in the first month of the new year. In December 2012, the rate still stood at 25.7 percent, while it was put at 21.5 percent in January 2012.

ELSTAT confirmed that unemployment continued to hit the younger generation hardest, with the jobless rate in the 15-24 age group reaching 59.3 percent.

Silver lining

Athens had said earlier it had achieved a primary budget surplus of 508 million euros ($665 million) in the first quarter of 2013 despite weakening revenues. It thus managed to beat targets agreed with international lenders.

Greek government officials said talks with the lenders would continue next week on the prerequisites for further bailout tranches. It noted the main issues at stake right now were ways of streamlining the domestic civil service and reforming the public sector.

Greece has relied on international bailouts since May 2010 for which it has had to agree to painful income cuts, tax hikes and reductions in most forms of state spending, including health, welfare and education.

hg/ccp (dpa, AP)

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