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German Chancellor visits Greece after its first budgetary surplus in 11 years

Bishkek (AKIpress) - angela-merkel-greece German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Athens on 11 April in a show of support for the Greek government after its successful return to the bond markets and a first budgetary surplus in 11 years, EUobserver reported.

It is Merkel's second visit to Greece since the country had to undergo harsh austerity measures in return for two EU-IMF bailouts, totaling €240 billion.

Security will be tight: during her first visit in 2012, protesters portrayed her wearing a Nazi uniform reflecting the widespread anger against what is perceived as being a German austerity diktat.

Ordinary Greeks feel little has changed, despite their government talking up the economy.

Some 20,000 people demonstrated in Athens and Thessaloniki on Wednesday as fresh statistics showed that the jobless rate reached 26.7 percent in January, with nearly 15,000 more jobs lost since last year.

Meanwhile, the Greek government announced a successful bond sale which raised €3 billion. It was the first such sale since 2010 when the country reached near-bankruptcy and had to apply for EU-IMF loans. Greek officials said the sale had been “at least eight times oversubscribed.”

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the successful bond sale was “an indication that Greece is heading in the right direction.”


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