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Germany’s Steinmeier sees glint of Greek recovery

January 10, 2014

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister says the Greek government remains committed to tough reforms needed to right the country’s economy, which shows glimmers of incipient improvement.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the leaders of Greece’s conservative-led coalition are “realists” determined to ignore the political cost of protracted austerity.

Steinmeier spoke Friday after two days of talks in Athens, where he saw Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, his Socialist minority partner.

Since nearly going bankrupt in 2010, Greece has survived on international bailouts worth a total 240 billion euros.

To secure the cash lifeline, Athens has committed to streamline the public sector, sell state property and further cut the budget deficit — which hit 15.6 percent in 2009 and is estimated at 2.2 percent last year.

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