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Greek PM vows growth as recession deepens

July 25, 2012
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's prime minister warned Tuesday that the country's battered economy is expected to contract by 7 percent this year, but pledged to drag it back to growth within 18 months.

Antonis Samaras also insisted he would seek a deal with international bailout creditors "as soon as possible" to allow more time for cutbacks and reforms that are key conditions of Greece's rescue loans.

Representatives of Greece's creditors started their inspection of the country's austerity program Tuesday by holding talks with Finance Ministry officials. On Wednesday, chief inspectors from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank - collectively known as the troika - are due in Athens for weeks of talks ahead of their next report on Greece's austerity program, on which continued payment of the loans hinges.

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