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Unemployment total keeps on going up

Statistics agency says 27.6 per cent out of work

Greece's national statistical authority has warned that the unemployment rate was continuing to climb.

The jobless figure reached 27.6 per cent of the working-age population in July, up from 27.5 per cent a month earlier.

The authority said that 1.36 million people were without a job in July, 10 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The conservative-led government claimed that there would be modest jobs growth next year.

But it admitted that unemployment would remain high, at an average 26 per cent.

Trade union federation GSEE painted a much darker picture and expects unemployment to exceed 30 per cent in coming years.

Greece is projected to miss a bailout target for next year according to an International Monetary Fund report on Wednesday.

The IMF projected the budget surplus - excluding debt repayment - will only hit 1.1 per cent of gross domestic product next year instead of the 1.5 per cent target outlined in its bailout terms.

Greece's creditors - the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank - have said that they won't pay the next round of bailout financing if Greece fails to meet its objectives.

Officials halted the latest round of bailout talks in late September to calculate how Athens might hit its budget targets.

The eurozone, which holds most of Greece's government debt, had vowed to give the country debt relief if it hit its targets, but declined to say exactly how.

But the Greek parliament's budget office warned that it was an illusion to believe that Greece could start borrowing on financial markets again next year and warned that its debt will need a further "haircut."

The budget office said the country could not cover its needs without external help and its debt would not be viable by 2020 or 2022 without further restructuring.

The 2014 budget draft submitted to parliament this week shows Greece's debt at 175.5 per cent of GDP in 2013.

Greece and its lenders aim to bring debt down to 124 per cent of GDP in 2020 and 110 per cent in 2022.


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