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Greek prime minister goes on the offensive

George Papandreou has today gone on the offensive and criticised the European Union's response to his country's ever growing budget deficit and economic collapse. In a rather bizarre move the Greek authorities have now turned on the European Union, the only party to come forward so far to offer assistance. So what next for the Greek authorities?

Today we saw further developments within the Greek economy with a further slowdown in the final quarter of 2009 and downwardly revised figures for the previous three quarters. Whether the Greek prime minister is attempting to increase pressure on the European Union to speed up the announcement of a recovery package remains to be seen but if this is the case it is a risky route to take. Despite initial across-the-board support for the Greek government, the last few days have seen significant backtracking by the German authorities and little or no comment from the French authorities.

This is by far the largest test for the European Union so far and the euro has become the number-one target for speculators in investment markets. The pressure on the euro is unlikely to lift in the short to medium term while the Greek situation continues and speculation mounts regarding the strength of the Portuguese and Spanish economies.

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