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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hedge Funds Bet against the Euro

'Large Effort to Save the Country'

Greek government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis warned that the talks promise to be difficult. "The next three to four months are the most crucial, and that is why this government exists," he said.

His comments echoed those of Vasilis Rapanos, head of the country's National Bank, on Monday. "I hope that our political system understands how crucial these moments are," Rapanos said. Politicians must "put aside party interests, personal ambitions and support the government in this large effort being made to save the country."

Greece must roll over €14.5 billion in debt on March 20, which is adding urgency to the ongoing talks.

EU officials had been critical of Athens at the end of 2011 for its slow progress on reform and for not hitting its deficit targets for the year. Now, the country is faced with the prospect of having to slash its deficit from 9 percent of gross domestic product last year to below 5 percent in 2012. "We will see. There could be a need for extra (austerity) measures," Kapsis said.

A Greece official said on Tuesday that his country doesn't have much time left to secure a bailout deal with the European Union.

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