World Bulletin/News Desk
Greece has inched closer to nailing down the cuts required by its foreign creditors in exchange for financial aid, agreeing 10.8 billion of the 11.5 billion euros worth of cuts demanded, a government official said on Friday.
Finalising the 11.5 billion euros in savings due in 2013-15 is key to a positive review from its lenders, due in Athens next month for a final verdict on whether they will keep funds flowing to the austerity-bound country.
"We're on a good path. Measures worth 10.8 billion euros have been identified," a finance ministry official told Reuters after a meeting of government officials late on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official did not elaborate on where the cuts would come from and said talks to finalise the package would continue on Monday.
The Conservative-led coalition has broadly agreed on the measures but has been scrambling to specify the savings, expected mainly from state salaries and pensions, and up to 40,000 public sector layoffs.
The measures have to be approved by Greece's three ruling parties and then by the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank officials.
Twice bailed-out Greece is dependent on a second, 130-billion-euro rescue deal agreed in March to give it the funds to keep paying public sector wages, pensions and bills.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will next week hold his first meetings with European leaders since taking office, striving to assure them Athens will keep its pledges for more austerity.
He is also expected to raise a long-standing proposal that the measures be spread over four instead of two years to soften their impact on a Greek populace enduring the country's worst downturn since World War Two.
They were among nine organisations and three people added to the EU's Syria sanctions list, published in the bloc's Official Journal
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Talks are reportedly underway for a number of investment projects, including in pharmaceuticals and automotive assembly, but no final investment agreements are expected this week.
The yuan will be the world's third largest currency after the U.S. dollar and euro, a Chinese report predicts.
Unemployment currently stands at 12.7 percent in Kenya and affects 30 percent of the country's population
GM so far this year has recalled about 14.7 million vehicles worldwide with switch-related issues and has linked at least 16 deaths to those issues.
The deal includes hydropower and nuclear power plants in the South American country.
State-run think tank Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) reported earlier this month that a twin-engine version of the fighter jet is expected to cost around 8.5 trillion won
Western officials have repeatedly warned Iranian counterparts over the past six months that more economic pain is a risk for an OPEC member whose oil exports have already shrunk to a fraction of what they could have been
The EU's employment commissioner said he has asked to meet with Microsoft to discuss the social impact of the layoffs.
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The financial aid would be used for rebuilding houses and public buildings, the rapid restoration of water and energy supplies and urgent assistance for those still without proper shelter.
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Chinese Trade Minister Gao Hucheng said his country would not sit idly by while the United States harmed the rights of Chinese companies.
Beijing claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, whose estimated energy potential varies widely. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claim parts of the key waterway.
Trade between China and Brazil soared to $83.3 billion last year from $3.2 billion in 2002, with iron ore, soy and oil making up the bulk of Brazilian exports.